Thursday, 20 August 2015

Alfie Outdoors by Shirley Hughes (Bodley Head)

Alfie, the awesome little fellah created by Shirley Hughes, gets out into the garden for his latest story. Join us as we get grubby in the vegetable patch!

We don't need to tell you how in love with Shirley Hughes' books we are, here on the blog. You have probably seen us talking about how atmospheric and lovely they are and it's great to see more titles arriving and being reprinted.
In "Alfie Outdoors", Alfie and Dad are doing some gardening and clearing a patch of ground to plant some vegetables. Dad lets Alfie choose some seeds from the local garden centre to grow his own carrots, and Alfie can't wait. You see, he has an idea. Although he doesn't like carrots himself, he loves visiting a local goat sanctuary and knows a particular goat who would love nothing better than to munch on a big juicy carrot.

Alfie impatiently waits for the carrots to sprout, watering them and keeping an eye on them but it seems to take ages. Just as he's given up the ghost, tiny seedlings appear and before long the carrots are ready to be harvested. But Alfie's favourite goat has gone missing! Poor Alfie is beside himself with worry, will the escaped goat ever be found?

It's such an idyllic book this, Alfie's happiness at finding out that vegetables don't come from the supermarket in packets, they're grown in the ground and then seeing the results of his hard work. We think Shirley must have first hand experience of escaping animals though, as they quite often crop up in her stories to good effect (truly LOVE the spread with all the goats in the goat sanctuary doing typically goaty things like standing on rocks and gadding about).

Timeless classic and brilliant!

Charlotte's favourite bit: When Matilda the Goat is finally found, chewing on someone else's washing on the line!

Daddy's favourite bit: Shirley's gorgeous illustrative style, easy storytelling and hugely idyllic and atmospheric books really are a wonderful treat.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Bodley Head)

Alfie Outdoors

Written and Illustrated by Shirley Hughes

Published by Bodley Head

Release Date: 30th July 2015