Friday 22 March 2013

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week ending 22nd March 2013: "Sidney, Stella and the Moon" by Emma Yarlett (Templar Publishing)

Ah the moon, the effect it has on our popular culture is phenomenal. Paul Simon once wrote "If you wanna write a song, write a song about the moon" but it also works for children's books too.

We're extremely lucky that the lovely Emma Yarlett has taken time out of her busy book launch schedule to answer a few tricky questions but first we'll take a look at her book and try to give you a sense of why, once again, Templar's keen eye for talent means they've bagged themselves another book of the week.

Sharing - if there's one thing that Charlotte is absolutely, positively, terribly bad at it's sharing and in a week where she actually ended up in Timeout at school (!) because of not sharing, the tale woven into the sumptuous pages of Emma's book is a timely one.

Sidney and Stella are twins, non identical twins. Like most brothers and sisters, they play together and also fight like cat and dog. But one day an incident with a bouncy ball and an argument ends up affecting more than just the warring siblings. The entire earth witnesses the result of their squabble.

This is where it gets tricky to put across why this book is special without utterly ruining the big 'twist' - but when you get to this particular bit in the story and what happens when you open the book at this point (hint hint) watch your child's jaw drop (if you're reading it to them). So much fun and firmly establishes Emma as someone who knows how to work a story in ways that children absolutely can't get enough of. Her artwork is atmospheric, beautiful and detailed, drawing comparisons with brilliantly talented folk like Oliver Jeffers and Leigh Hodgkinson.

Once again it's a book that's rarely strayed from the bedtime stack (and surely there's no better tale to tell when your youngsters are snuggling up and staring out of the window at that great big glowing orb than this!) and we urge you to read it 'cold' - that is, both reader and read-to experience the wow moment together. You'll want to hug Emma for it, I guarantee!

Charlotte's best bit: I can't tell you, it'd ruin the surprise - but it was brilliant!

Daddy's favourite bit: A keen observation of sibling rivalry, and perhaps a book that makes that whole childhood business of sharing not seem too bad after all, particularly when something's shared and can end up working out brilliantly for both squabblers.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Templar Publishing)