Friday, February 28, 2014

Abel's Moon by Shirley Hughes (Red Fox Picture Books)

Abel's Moon

Written and Illustrated by
Shirley Hughes

Published by Red Fox Picture Books

It goes without saying that we always make a bee-line for Shirley Hughes' books whenever we spot them in our local library. "Abel's Moon" is such a dreamy and lovely tale that it's definitely worth shouting about.

Abel is a travelling man, and when he comes home to his wife and children, he always has the best stories to tell of his travels and adventures. The children hang on his every word, wanting to listen to his stories again and again.

Abel comes up with an idea to write some of his stories down so that he won't forget them - but writing in a house full of noisy children isn't an easy task (I am guessing that Shirley is speaking from experience here! I'd certainly have to agree too!)

Abel sets up the folding table under his favourite apple tree in the garden - but all too soon it's time to leave home again in search of work.

The table stays put, as the grass and trees grow up around it the children discover that the humble table can lead to even more adventures. As a boat, or as a moon machine! Imagine the stories they'll be able to tell when Abel gets home...!

There are so many things about this book that make you want to cuddle it. It's a great "Dad" book - Abel willing to make a huge sacrifice and leave his family behind just to ensure that they want for nothing. It's a book that celebrates the wonderful imaginations of children as they weave their own tales through play. Of course we always love Shirley's masterful way with words and her gorgeous art. The book draws you into its warming embrace and its timelessness ensures that it can be enjoyed by children of all ages.

Charlotte's best bit: Abel and Mable's little baby, who is a little ball of mischief!

Daddy's Favourite bit: A marvellous celebratory book, a great dad character (we could do with more of these), and yet another fab book from the grand-dame of children's literature.

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