Pip and Posy : The Scary Monster
You might know Axel Scheffler as the frequent illustrator of the wonderful British picture book author Julia Donaldson best known in the US for her books The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child and one of the best Halloween books out there that can be read any time of the year, Room on the Broom. Donaldson is a great story teller and an accomplished rhymer. When I read her books at story time, they flow forth so naturally I almost don't need to read the words. Scheffler's playful, cartoon-like illustrations are perfectly suited to Donaldson's fun and funny stories.
Over the years, Scheffler has written and illustrated his own books, including the Pip and Posy series of which there are five books. The newest book in the series, Pip and Posy and the Scary Monster, is the third to be made available in the US and it is brilliant. While I don't have to worry about finding short but good picture books to read at home anymore, there are plenty of kids in the three and under crowd who show up for story times every week and leave me scrambling for something besides Peggy Rathman's Good Night Gorilla and Eric Carle's Head to Toe. Like Lucy Cousins's Maisy and her friends, Scheffler's Pip and Posy, a rabbit and rat, respectively, are toddler-esque animals with simple tastes. Their short stories are filled with all the things familiar to little listeners, especially the cozy comforts of home. And, like Cousins's Maisy, Scheffler's creations have a great website with a handful of fun games (spot the difference, matching, jigsaw puzzles) and printable activities to keep kids busy when they aren't reading.
Not exactly board books, Scheffler's books are bit smaller than a traditional picture book, wrapped in a slightly puffy cover with thick, sturdy pages making them perfect for little hands. While this does make the book a bit more expensive than a board book, it still comes in at less that a hardcover picture book and, for the number of times you will find yourself reading it, I have no doubt you will get your money's worth. In Pip and Posy and the Scary Monster, Posy is a "little bit bored" on a rainy day so she makes some cupcakes. As she puts the tin in the oven, the narrator warns, "Careful, Posy. It's hot!" While she waits for the cupcakes to bake, she hears a tap at the window and sees a "big, furry hand!" Next, a knock at the door comes with a scary "Grrr!" Finally...
The monster stumbles into the house but, seeing his feet, Posy stops crying and says, "Hello, Pip." Pip takes off his mask and offers Posy a turn with the monster costume. Laughing, he two head outside to play and wait for the cupcakes to finish baking. The book ends, "Then they had a glass of milk and lots of cupcakes. Hooray!" Short and sweet with illustrations full of details for littler listeners to point out, from Posy's frog doll in each picture to a snail climbing up a tree.
Below are scenes from Pip and Posy and the Super Scooter and Pip and Posy and the Little Puddle, which I can't wait to read. The description reads, "Pip comes to Posy's house to play and they are having so much fun he that he need to pee." I wish this book had been around when I was still cleaning up little puddles....
Source: Review Copy