Friday 27 October 2017

ReaditDaddy's Picture Book of the Week - Week Ending 27th October 2017 - "His Royal Tinyness" by Sally Lloyd-Jones and David Roberts (Walker Books)

Our Picture Book of the Week this week is yet another corker by two of the most amazing talents working in children's books today...
I can only imagine what it must be like for an author when they fetch up at an editorial meeting, to be told "Oh we're going to get David Roberts to illustrate your book, is that OK?"

I'd probably do about ten laps of the building with my pants pulled over my head, whooping with glee.

I'm not saying that Sally Lloyd-Jones actually did this when paired with David once again for the truly awesome "His Royal Tinyness" but it must have been a close run thing.

The odd thing about this book is that Charlotte and I were really not sure about it at first. We couldn't bear the thought of another "Royal Baby" cash in (which this isn't, by the way) but with all picture books we love to be proved wrong, and we love to be taught that most valuable lesson - never judge a book by its cover (even if that cover is by David Roberts).

The story is actually a wonderfully observed slice of life from a sibling's perspective when a new baby arrives. Up till that point, they might have had a captive audience in their parents and relatives, but new babies have a habit of blowing all that away with an amusing gurgle or a well-timed fart...

David once again draws on a neat historical dress-reference with awesome 70s fashion (and huge huge flares!)
The Most Beautiful Ever-So-Kindest Princess with Long Flowing Wondrous Hair (AKA the big sister in this story) really doesn't get on with her new baby brother at all.

Why does everyone clap and cheer when he burps? Why do they find his poos endlessly fascinating? Why does the bratty little king baby always get his own way and why is he endlessly adored and worshipped by his subjects (aunts and uncles, grans and grandads, friends and relatives and of course mum and dad).

Big sister comes up with a plan, to dress in disguise as a haggard old witch and scupper King Baby's birthday party. But there's a change of heart, and soon big sister realises that having a little brother who adores YOU might not be so bad after all...

Uh oh, king baby isn't happy! But what's up with the little mite?
Such a fantastic sibling book, a real win for any kids who are about to have a new member of the family appear - and one that makes us grown ups consider our own relationships with our siblings (as bratty as they are!)

Charlotte's best bit: King Baby taking a shine to his big sister's hilarious false 'witchy' nose.

Daddy's favourite bit: So much fun to read aloud, and just endlessly appealing with glorious David Roberts art to coo and goo over. Wonderful!

(Kindly supplied for review)

"His Royal Tinyness" by Sally Lloyd-Jones and David Roberts is out now, published by Walker Books.