Wondering in Literary Land

Janey Lloyd

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As a book worm who loves nothing better than wriggling inbetween different literary worlds, I'm desperate for Joel to join in on the adventure.  After catching him the other week eating a ham sandwich out of the bin, I feel some culture and a distraction from food is very much needed.

From a new-born I've always taken the time (depending on his sleepy status) to read him even just a few lines from a book as part of his bedtime routine.  So far he has whizzed off to space with some knicker stealing aliens to save earth and had tea with a tiger who turned up un-invited.

The library was first opened in 1994 and just like David Beckham it gets better with age.

After visiting the world of Beatrix Potter and be-friending Mog, we were seeking more curious creatures and funnier escapades.  Accepting this challenge, I've been visiting our wonderful local library to hunt down marvellous tales for both Joel and I which I have shared below! (Of course my main priority is to ensure that the tale does require Mummy’s silly voices as shortly Joel will sadly soon tire of them when he gets older).

It can be costly buying books as along with everything else it would appear the cost of our literary treats is rising!  Also constantly reading the same story gets boring quickly for all involved and story-time becomes a chore.  I also contradict myself after planning to read Jane Eyre for the 100th time on holiday this year.  Some may opt for Fifty Shades but I prefer this classic and to use my imagination!

The AK Bell Library offers a great selection of board, flap and picture books on loan and also with their online catalogue if your preferred book isn’t available it can be requested from a neighbouring library! 

The library was first opened in 1994 and just like David Beckham it gets better with age. Throughout the years they have created various activities such as Bookbug Sessions, Chatterbooks, Gaelic story-telling, Stay and Play and story-telling.  With various refurbishments in the last decade,  AK Bell provides a bright and spacious children’s library section with colouring in and computers along with a lovely café and baby-changing facilities. 

A library membership has proven to be a great money saver within the last year to help Joel journey further into the centre of literary land for future tea parties with Hatters madder than his hungry Mummy.

A library membership has proven to be a great money saver within the last year

The Tale o the Wee Mowdie that wantit tae ken wha keeched on his heid by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch

Scots translation by Matthew Mackie, Katrina MacLeod, Jim Carruthers, Irene McFarlane and Gordon McFarlane

Available at AK Bell library

This hilarious Scots adaptation of the original German edition “Vom kleinen Maulwarf, der wissen wollte, wer ihm auf den Kopf gemacht hat” is a big favourite in my family. 

It was even more fun getting my brother’s Austrian partner to read the story and she put us all to shame with her perfect pronunciation! This poor wee mole wakes up one morning and is defecated on by another animal (read the story to find out who) and he sets about quizzing the other animals - who demonstrate in rather amusing and graphic detail their innocence – in order to find the culprit.

What puzzles me the most is why the wee mole’s first instinct isn’t to wipe the large brown pile off his head?  This story will have the whole family in stitches from start to finish and will be a true test of your native Scots tongue!

There’s a Monster in your book

By Tom Fletcher  illustrated by Greg Abbot

Available at AK Bell library

After the success of the Dinosaur That Pooped series, I had no doubts this book would be just as great.  As a massive McFly fan, I may be slightly bias in mentioning this story, however after Joel’s giggling when shaking the book and shouting to scare the monster out, it's clearly an entertaining read.  It’s also an excellent arm work out with all the shaking, spinning, tickling and tilting so after a few reads your arms will be bikini ready for the summer!

This interactive story (that also involves a bit of shouting) is a clever way to help your little ones abandon any monster fears, as you desperately try to get the not so scary monster out of the book! 

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

By Judith Kerr

Available at AK Bell Library

Most people have one book from their childhood that they absolutely adore even into their adult years and this is mine!  As a child I found it very exciting this unexpected striped visitor turning up for tea - secretly wishing it would happen to scare off my annoying siblings and also so we would need to go out for tea! 

My adult years are unfortunately less imaginative because realistically if this did happen, I would probably pass out wheezing from my cat allergy screaming for animal control and Piriton.  Luckily the book’s character of Sophie and her Mummy are braver than myself and the tiger in this 1968 classic enjoys a good feast.

I was thrilled when my friend gifted this book to Joel at my baby shower and hopefully he will inherit my childhood obsession with it and not my nose!


Giraffes Can’t Dance

By Giles Andrede and Guy Parker-Rees

Available at AK Bell Library

Sometimes after a few alcoholic beverages I've fallen into the trap of believing I can breakdance.  Gerald the Giraffe in this heart-warming tale - like myself -listens to the mockery and believes he can’t dance either. 

Our bandy legged hero has a moral epiphany one moonlit night, that it’s okay to be different and he just needed to find the right music for his dance.  With his unique boogie that even Simon Cowell couldn’t buzz at, Gerald quickly becomes the star of the jungle. 

Despite a lot of childrens’ authors attempting to include a moral message or important values within a story sometimes this can be lost within a plot.  This book achieves this and provides a lovely relatable tale about the victory of an unexpected hero (be warned you may be in tears at the end!).

Aaaarrgghh Spider!

By Lydia Monks

Available at AK Bell Library

All the spider in this story wants is to be the family’s pet.  Sadly every time it tries to prove it’s worth it keeps scaring them off! With the use of eye-catching colours and glitter with required shouting, this picture book never fails to get a giggle with each “aaaargh!”. 

As a severe arachnophobe unfortunately my phobia by the end had not been cured.  So I will regrettably still be causing raining days with my book squishing!

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt!

By Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

Available at AK Bell Library

This beautifully illustrated book invites you on an energetic and exciting adventure to find this grizzly creature.  Reading this one for storytelling years ago at AK Bell Library was always great fun.  With all the splashing, squelching, squishing and wading you would be exhausted afterwards but the ocean of smiles from your highly captivated audience was worth it.

So grab your wellies and wrap up warm as Rosen and Oxenbury feed everyone’s imagination with this never-ending adventure that has everyone involved from start to finish.

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