Friday 28 October 2016

ReadItDaddy's First Book of the Week - Week Ending 28th October 2016 - "That's NOT how you do it!" by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar (Child's Play Publishing)

This sassy little madam is the star of our first Book of the Week this week, the sublime "That's NOT how you do it!"
We've always championed Child's Play Publishing's books, because there's simply no one better out there that understands how to build good solid foundations for young readers to build on.

So many of our Book of the Week winners came from this innovative publisher, and it looks like they're still consistently delivering the most brilliant and interesting books (which comes as no surprise to us whatsoever!)

Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar's awesome "Ice in the Jungle" (which we reviewed here) dealt with the delicate subject of displacement and feeling like a stranger in a strange land. In "That's NOT how you do it" the fab moral lesson delivered so beautifully in "Ice" is built upon as we meet sassy kitty-cat Lucy who (for want of a better description) is a bit of a "little madam".

It's firmly Lucy's way or the highway throughout this book as we discover all the things that she's really good at. She's a superb natural gymnast (sort of), she's excellent at painting (though we're not sure you're supposed to use your tail like that!) and her folded Origami stars are wonderful.

All is fine at school until a new kid comes along. Toshi annoys Lucy at first, because he does so many things differently. He doesn't seem to know how to paint, his tall towers are all wrong, and as for the way he eats his food - what's all that about?

"That's NOT how you do it!" mumbles Lucy but eventually she discovers that Toshi is merely different, and different can sometimes be cool!

When the two start to build their friendship, Lucy's opinion changes for the better and soon Toshi's asking HER how to do things too!

Ariane's fantastic characters drive this book wonderfully. Lucy reminds me of Charlotte a lot, definitely knows her mind and the 'right' way to do things (I've lost count of the amount of times she's told me off for drawing things the 'wrong' way - it's very handy having a severe art critic at home sometimes!) That crossed-arm pose you see on the cover is very much the 'default' "I'm not telling you off, but you know NOTHING!" pose my own little madam gives me a lot of the time, with a barrel-load of sass along with it too.

Back to this glorious book, and the tale's heart - that "different doesn't mean wrong" - is wonderfully delivered. It's almost impossible not to read the book (for me, at least) without that song "This is how we do it!" buzzing round in your head, changed to "That's not how you do it!" as we read through.

A fabulous book of the week. It's so good when Charlotte takes a book at face value and says "No, that's too babyish" then we dig in and read it and she utterly loves it to bits.

That is indeed how you do it, picture book folk!

Charlotte's best bit: Lucy's rather devil-may-care approach to painting elephants (which are, actually, very good!)

Daddy's favourite bit: A brilliant tale of appreciating that your way of doing things is neither right nor wrong, nor definitive - and there's always space to learn from others. Beautifully told, brilliantly illustrated and fab read-aloud fun.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Child's Play Publishing)

"That's NOT how you do it!"

Written and Illustrated by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar

Published by Child's Play Publishing

Publication Date: 19th September 2016