Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A Squash and a Squeeze (20th Anniversary Edition) by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Macmillan Children's Books)

Talking to my sister over Christmas, she couldn't believe that we'd somehow missed out on "A Squash and a Squeeze" on our book travels. Thanks to Macmillan's timely republishing of the very first collaboration between the (now) legendary duo of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler we've finally caught up with it and it's as good as she said it would be.

"A Squash and a Squeeze" tells the tale of an old woman and a rather wise man. The woman bemoans the fact that her cottage is so tiny, always a squash and a squeeze so the old man gives her a brilliant idea how to better appreciate what she's got rather than expanding the size of her quaint little cottage.

First the woman invites a chicken in, then a pig, then a goat and finally a cow - and she soon finds out how cramped things can get.

It's an entertaining tale and this special 20th Anniversary edition shows you how different the book could've been, and how much work went into that very first collaboration between Donaldson and Scheffler - two names who can now pretty much write their own cheques when it comes to children's picture books.

I liked the moral of this tale, and rather liked the insights into how Scheffler designs and perfects his characters (I'd love to see some of his early Gruffalo ideas, bet they were awesome).

Charlotte's best bit: The naughty goat. Never invite a goat into your house if you like your soft furnishings!

Daddy's favourite bit: The greedy pig! Help yourself why don't you!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Macmillan Children's Books)