Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Emperor's Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales by Jane Ray (Boxer Books)

The Emperor's Nightingale and other feathery tales

Written by Jane Ray

Published by Boxer Books

As Charlotte gets older and demands slightly more wordier fare than some picture books offer, storybook compendiums are a godsend. Short enough that you can cherry-pick a story from them to read before bedtime. Deep enough that she can listen to me read rather than fussing over the pictures (though it has to be said, we both still absolutely love illustrated children's books more than anything).

Jane Ray's collection of stories "The Emperor's Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales" has just had a timely reprint by Boxer Books, with a gorgeous purple cover and an enviable collection of stories and poems with something to appeal to everyone. Some are familiar and well loved ("The Owl and the Pussycat" - be warned though, if you have a really daft sense of humour you're really going to struggle with the last verse on that one), and some aren't so well known but are beautiful stories nonetheless (how utterly brilliant is "Mulungu Paints the Birds"). Jane has brought together a fabulous collection of authors from around the world keeping the bird theme consistent, and dishing up a rare treat - a story complilation that has no weak links (well, none that we could find anyway, they really are all brilliant).

As we said at the top of the review, it's been fun choosing a different story at random over the space of a few mornings or nights when we do the majority of our reading together. Worth checking out if your little ones are also moving beyond picture books and don't actually mind sitting still long enough to hear a deeper tale told well.

Charlotte's best bit: The fabulous African folk tale "Mulungu Paints the Birds"

Daddy's Favourite bit: Oscar Wilde's awesome "The Happy Prince" is in here, always been a fave!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Boxer Books)