A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
My little girl, nearly two, is in the grip of a Pip and Posy obsession. The rabbit (Pip) and the mouse (Posy) first entered our lives by way of a book bought by my mum, Pip and Posy: The Little Puddle. After repeated readings, we looked to see if there was anything else out there… and lo and behold! There are several Pip and Posy titles (not to mention an iPad app), and my personal favourite is this one: The Bedtime Frog.
Pip and Posy are best pals, and Posy is super excited to be going to Pip’s house for a sleepover. Because she’s so excited, she’s taking extra special care to pack her suitcase, because she really doesn’t want to forget anything. After a bus trip (also exciting!), lots of games (including the intriguing ‘Pirates in Hospital’… anyone else thinking TV series?), spaghetti for tea, and a bubbly bath, it’s time for bed.
“Night-night, Posy,” said Pip, as he cuddled up with his piggy.
“Sweet dreams, Pip,” said Posy.
The lights go off. Pip is drifting off to sleep when he’s awoken by Posy. Disaster! Calamity! She’s. Forgotten. Froggy. Oh no.
Pip being the wonderful friend he is, he offers Posy several alternatives. Teddy? Nope, not green. Dinosaur? Good Lord no, that thing’s terrifying. Frog-shaped money-box? That is the wrong frog.
Pip has a think. Then he does “a very difficult thing“.
The Bedtime Frog is a very sweet little story for toddlers, simply but effectively told. The real joy, though, is the illustration. Those even slightly familiar with children’s books will recognise the work of Axel Scheffler, who is best known for his work with former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson. He has illustrated many of her books, including The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, and The Snail and the Whale. With Pip and Posy, though, he’s entirely on his own, and he’s made a fine job of it.
My daughter loves the pictures in the Pip and Posy books. The scenes where Pip and Posy are playing are particularly good, because there are lots of little toys and items scattered about, the way toys are, which means there are loads of objects for my girl to point at and name. At this age especially, when she is picking up new words at a rate of knots, this is totally ideal. The text is very simple, and if you were just reading the words you’d be done in a couple of minutes. But the fun comes from sitting with her while she looks at the pictures: “Cow! Pig! Cat… meow! ‘Saur. Carrot. Car… beep beep!!”
I also recommend the app, for those of a technological bent. It has several different activities: a matching pairs game and jigsaws, which are still a bit beyond my daughter, as well as making monster faces for photographs, and – my girl’s favourite – colouring in. It’s an app suitable for all ages, and I know we’ll get plenty of use out of it as she gets older and can grapple with the slightly more difficult games.
So, hurrah for Pip and Posy! My daughter can’t get enough of them, and that’s enough of a recommendation for me.
Nosy Crow, 32 pages, £7.99, hardback, ISBN 978-0-85763-115-2