Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Baggy Brown and the Royal Baby by Mick Inkpen (Hodder Children's Books)

My goodness, has it been that long since we last read "Baggy Brown"? Back when we used to 'rate' books, the original Baggy Brown (just Baggy Brown, mind) got a respectable 4 out of 5 stars as we rather loved the touching tale of a lost teddy finding its way to its rightful owner via a rather upstanding young gent named Jack.

Of course, with a Royal Baby due, there's no better time for the publishing industry to go into complete overdrive. Not just putting out new books all about the upcoming birth (and jumping the gun more than a tad - something we wholly agree with the awesome Anne Marie over at Child-Led Chaos on, by the way) but also respinning some of their back catalogue to, well for want of a better phrase, 'cash in'.

So we took another look at Mick Inkpen's classic, which thankfully has only had a cover makeover and a mere whiff of being linked to the upcoming birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first child.

It's still a touching tale of how a Teddy destined for royal hands (Number 1 at that) falls off the production line at a toy factory and ends up on a long winding journey, through the hands of young Alfie, and eventually into the waiting arms of the wailing Princess Sophinyiniannia of Thingland (she has to have the WORST name of any character in children's books, thank goodness you can shorten it to Sophie!)

As before we like Mick Inkpen's lovely way of injecting his characters with such emotion and feeling with just a few deft strokes of his (ink)pen. We soon discover that Baggy Brown is not the soothing influence who finally gives the princess a restful night's sleep (though the cover suggests otherwise), we'll leave you to find out what (or rather who) does the trick.

It's still a lovely book. Call it savvy remarketing if you will, but the story is still touching and nicely told.

Charlotte's best bit: The awesome tree house at the end of the book (and no, you can't have one in the back garden, we don't have any trees!)

Daddy's favourite bit: Really love Mick Inkpen's drawings, so deft and nicely done.

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