Friday, 2 January 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Our first Book of the Week for 2015, the sublime "Big Pet Day" by Lisa Shanahan and Gus Gordon (Templar Publishing)

Big Pet Day

Written by Lisa Shanahan

Illustrated by Gus Gordon

Published by Templar Publishing

Welcome to Read It Daddy 2015! We're back, shouting and squeaking about brilliant new children's books with a few old favourites thrown into the mix too. But to kick off the new year, we've got a brand new book - released just yesterday in fact, and it's a great way to start our booky year with a cracking book of the week!

"Big Pet Day" tells the story of young Lily, a little girl who has a rather spectacular and special pet. It's pet day at school. Most kids bring in the usual pets - puppies, mice, even a fuzzy bow-tie-wearing ferret but not Lily. Lily brings in her pet dragon!

Subtly well observed, "Big Pet Day" could almost be Charlotte's story. You see, we don't actually have any pets either (for various reasons but mainly to do with where we live) and Charlotte's school quite often has "Pet Blessing" days, so we often wonder whether she feels a little bit like Lily does in the story.

Happy to join in, Lily's dragon is the most well behaved pet of them all so when class 'spoilt brat' Courtney scoffs at Lily's 'pretend' pet, she is probably secretly rather jealous - particularly when Courtney's own pet can't behave itself to save its life.

The head teacher is ushered in to judge the "Best Pet" competition. Can Lily possibly win?

There is so much to love about this book. For starters, huge thumbs up for being a book that celebrates diversity and inclusivity in Lily's class. Also, a double huge thumbs up with cherries on top for recognising just how wonderful teachers are (and Lily's teacher is fantastic, you'll see why as you tuck into this glorious story). Lastly a really huge blaring hip hip hooray for Lily, the sort of book character who is just so beautifully well observed that we couldn't help falling in love with her the moment we met her! There's definitely a bit of Lily in all of us, she's an imaginative and lovely little character!

Charlotte's best bit: Lily's fantastic picture of her pet (which really is awesome! We'd love a big poster of that on our wall!)

Daddy's Favourite bit: Wonderfully well observed, gloriously imaginative, a book that sings out to us - we LOVE it!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Templar Publishing)