Pre-schoolers love Picture Books about creatures, both real and imagined. But some make better bedtime stories than others.
A bedtime story should be soothing like:
Muddle & Mo
Muddle the duckling is very confused. She thought her best friend Mo was a duck just like her. But when they take a walk together she takes a closer look and discovers that nothing is quite right. Mo doesn’t eat worms, her feet don’t wobble, she quacks funny and her poos are too hard.
Eventually Muddle comes to the conclusion that Mo is not a weird looking duck but a goat. But having got Mo wrong, Muddle now faces her own identity crisis.
I think Pre-schoolers would enjoy this humorous little tale about an unlikely friendship between an excitable duckling and a patient goat. It shows that some-one who is very different to you can still be a good friend.
This book would make a good bedtime story as it is short and gentle. And there are no distracting background details, just Muddle and Mo drawn against a backdrop of recycled paper on each double page spread.
Nikki Slade Robinson who authored and illustrated this book knows all about these creatures. She illustrates her stories in between finding worms for her duck and the juiciest dandelions for her goat.
Title: Muddle & Mo
Author: Nikki Slade Robinson
Publisher: Duck Creek Press
Price: Hardback $29.99 Paperback $19.99
The Cowardly Lion
Telulu the lion may look big , strong and fierce but he is scared of everything. Even a leaf falling down from a tree in the jungle makes him hide and tremble with fear.
Each time he encounters another jungle animal he runs away. As he does so his body gets smaller and smaller until he is as small as a mouse. The mouse thinks it very funny that a lion is scared of him and they become good friends.
When a wildcat catches the mouse Telulu overcomes his fears and goes to the rescue. Having found his courage he then embarks on more rescue missions and saves many other jungle creatures from harm. And as he does so he continues to grow in size until he is the size of a full grown lion again.
But what goes up can also go down as the lion discovers at the end of the story.
I think pre-schoolers would enjoy this tale about a loyal friendship which turns a cowardly lion into a hero. They would appreciate the expressive illustrations of many different jungle creatures and the lyrical prose.
Although a little longer and detailed than Muddle& Mo it would also be a relaxing bedtime story.
Title: The Cowardly Lion
Author: Bingbo. Illustrations by Jianming Zhou
Imprint: Starfish Bay Children’s Books
The Ogglies of Smelliville
The Ogglies are the messiest and dirtiest creatures you could imagine. They have made their home on a rubbish tip. With their lumpy noses they adore the smelliest pongs.
The Ogglies live in an extended family. Oggly Grandma is worried about how disgustingly clean the living room looks so she gets busy filling it up with rot and rubbish.
Mum wants the Oggly twins to gather bootlaces for her soup and Dad needs help with making a stroller for Oggly baby but they are a lazy pair. They would rather have a muck bath or go mudpuddle jumping.
Halfway through the story the twins take off on a dragon adventure and fly around the sky until dinner time. This turns out to be an unbelievably yucky meal but on which they feast, fart, slurp and burp to their hearts’ content.
At the end of the book children are invited to learn the Oggly song with each disgusting part going from bad- to- worse.
When the Ogglies sing this it apparently echoes around the rubbish tip with a sound as ear splitting as a circular saw.
This is definitely not a book I’d recommend for a bedtime story as it would wind pre-schoolers up rather than sending them off to sleep.
And they could well argue that that Ogglies wouldn’t bother to have a bath or brush their teeth so why should they!
But it would be great fun to read at any other time of the day. Little children would love pointing out the many little creatures and objects featured in the illustrations as well.
Title: The Ogglies of Smelliville
Author: Erhard Dietl
Imprint: Starfish Bay Children’s Books