Books to Keep You and Your Grandkids Amused

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The Royal NappyThe Royal Nappy

The Royal Nappy has been perfectly timed to coincide with the arrival of the new royal baby. It is so funny that you may find it it difficult to stop laughing out loud while you read it to your grandkids.

In this picture book Nicholas Allan continues his fascination with royal bottoms. His previous story about the Queen's knickers was a best seller

The Royal Nappy starts with a historical look at how nannies have looked after royal nappies from the time of Henry the 8th to the present day. Then we meet the latest nanny who will be in charge of a cabinet stacked full of neatly folded nappies for the new royal baby.

There are nappies for every occasion such as shiny nappies to slide on slippery palace floors and nappies on skis for a royal winter holiday.

And there's a "Poo-Detector On-Board Nappy" which can be activated when the royal baby takes a ride in his Daddy's helicopter.

Flag nappies have been designed to match the nations of foreign visitors who are often entertained by the Duke and Duchess. There is a French Flag nappy for when the French Prime Minister comes to tea, and a red starred nappy for the Chinese President.

But even in the most orderly royal household there can be a nappy crisis. Now what would happen if there was a great baby party at the palace and all the nappies ran out just before the President of the USA was about to arrive?!

Title: The Royal Nappy
Author: Nicholas Allan
Imprint: Red Fox
The Quiet PirateRRP: $16.99 (paperback)

The Quiet Pirate

Barnaby is the cabin boy on a pirate ship. Unlike the other pirates who spend their days raucously bellowing from the rigging and dancing on the quarter deck he is a very quiet boy who would rather sit in the lifeboat to read a book and watch, listen and think. This really annoys the other pirates.

"Speak up, ye blethering' blighter," one bellows at him when his voice is too small to be heard from the crow's nest. The pirates continue to pick on him. A discouraged Barnaby begins to wonder if he has it in him to be a pirate at all.

One day the pirates have a very loud party to celebrate a tremendous treasure loot. Their raucous din carries all the way down to the darkest depths of the ocean. It is heard by a terrible sea monster who rises up out of the water. The pirates, who have mercilessly teased him, are in for a well-deserved ghastly end.

Once they are gone and Barnaby has the treasure all to himself he discovers hidden depths and finds that he can be courageous after all.

Kids will love the cartoon illustrations of the wicked pirates. And if you can find some gummy drop worms or other gruesome decorations you could have a lot of fun baking a pirate cake with your grandkids and challenging them to make it look really revolting.

Title: The Quiet Pirate
Author: Stephanie Thatcher
Publisher: Duck Creek Press
RRP: $29.95 (hardback) $19.99 (paperback)

Henry's MapHenry's Map

This is a humorous little story. The expressive and whimsical water colour and pencil drawings by David Elliot are delightful and will remind you of Winny the Pooh

Henry is an orderly pig who likes everything to be exactly in its place. After tidying his bedroom he looks out of the window of his little sty and thinks that the farm is far too messy. He comes up with the idea of drawing a map so everyone will know exactly where they should be. But when the animals don't stay put his plans don't quite work out.

Henry's map can be a good introduction to map making. If you give a five or six year old a pencil and challenge them to draw a map of their surroundings you can have some interesting conversations with them about how close or how far, how big or small and what kind of shapes and lines they have used to make it.

Or if at the end of the day your floor looks like a mini disaster zone with toddler toys scattered around read it shortly before they go home use it to test your powers of persuasion. At the end of the story ask "Now what would Henry the Pig have thought of this? Let's put everything back exactly where it belongs."

Title: Henry's Map
Author: David Elliot
Imprint: RHNZ Children's
RRP: $19.99 (Paperback)