Friday, 26 April 2013

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week, Week Ending 26th April 2013 - "Bubble and Squeak" by James Mayhew and Clara Vulliamy (Orchard Books)

Roll up, roll up! Enjoy the thrills and spills of the circus in this utterly fantastic book from James Mayhew and Clara Vulliamy. Plop on your top hat, shrug on your red coat and tails and shout from the very top of the Big Top itself - "Bubble and Squeak" are here!

Bubble is an extremely talented (and Charlotte says "Very beautiful!") Elephant who is the star of the show at the circus. People (and even bunnies!) travel from far and wide to see Bubble perform her star-studded circus extravaganza and feats of derring do as she dances and balances with great expertise for the delectation of the ladies and gentlemen present.

Away from the spotlight though, Bubble finds life a little on the lonely side. Though the circus is amazing and life is hectic, all alone in her trailer Bubble longs for a very special friend.

The lure of the circus is all too much for the other star of this book, a young mouse who loves watching Bubble's fantastic balancing act. Stealing into the big top, Squeak loves the sights and the sounds of the circus and Bubble in particular. But is the circus really any place for a mouse? The ringmaster, the clowns and the other circus performers don't think so and always chase Squeak away.

Sometimes though, great acts of heroism come from the most unexpected quarters so when a calamitous  turn of events threatens to pulverise the "Pyramid of Peril" - Bubble's signature act, there's only one person (or rather mouse) who can save the day.

As we've mentioned before this week on the blog, we see a lot of stories that deal with friendship but rarely are they as stylish, as exciting and as touching as "Bubble and Squeak". Clara Vulliamy's art instantly makes any book feel like it's destined to become a well-loved classic and James Mayhew has a knack for keeping children firmly on the edge of their seats. Charlotte reminded me that the book made her think of Disney's "Dumbo" when there's the exciting sequence with the clowns and the burning building, in which Dumbo first reveals his rather special talent.

We liked this better though, and there's absolutely no doubt in our mind that it's a thoroughly well deserved book of the week. We've read it again and again, and rather hope that Bubble and Squeak are ripe and ready for an encore very very soon indeed.

Charlotte's best bit: She got so excited about spotting certain bunnies in the audience of this that she hopped up and down on the spot (rather like an over-excited bunny!) Nice work!

Daddy's favourite bit: Superbly paced, lots of touching moments and utterly delectable artwork. A book it's nigh on impossible not to love!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Orchard Books)