Thursday, 7 February 2013

Mr Cosmo the Conjuror by Allan Ahlberg and Joe Wright (Puffin Books)

Regular ReadItDaddy readers will know that we practically worship the ground Allan Ahlberg walks on. Regularly appearing in our Book of the Week nominations, Allan has a knack of weaving a brilliant tale.

With a whole series of the "Happy Families" books now being republished by Puffin Books, you can now marvel at a series that's over 30 years old but still feels as fresh and brilliant today as it did back in the 80s.

Introducing Charlotte to the books was brilliant. Particularly showing her how fantastic Joe (What A Mess) Wright's illustrations are. Detailed, funny and lending themselves to the story really well, it's easy to see why the Happy Families books have been popular with early readers for as long as they have.

In this tale, we meet a mysterious family who travel by caravan (with no one driving!) from town to town. Posters appear in the town announcing "Mr Cosmo is Coming!" and soon the man himself, and his lovely family, are standing in the town square announcing that tonight there will be a free show!

Mr Cosmo's children go to school just like any other kids, but also learn how to saw their mum in half (don't get any ideas Charlotte! I like her in one piece!) and how to pull rabbits out of hats.

Soon the show begins, and as the lights are turned down low, the whole town holds its breath...

The reprints of these books are nicely pocket sized (remember when you used to roll your books up and shove them in the back pocket of your jeans? I bet you wouldn't do that now!) and all the vibrancy and detail of the original illustrations is still in place.

Brilliant stuff! So glad to see these again!

Charlotte's best bit: The amazing appearing (and disappearing) rabbits! Hooray!

Daddy's favourite bit: A cameo by a certain rather scruffy dog. Dang, I really need to hunt down the 'What a Mess' books again.

(kindly sent to us for review by Puffin Books)