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All reviews tagged with Tony Ross

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Boa’s Bad Birthday

Every child has cried when they didn't get the present that they wanted, and every child has had to buy a present for a friend and wanted to buy them what THEY wanted instead of what their friend would want. This picture book is thus a really good story for illustrating the importance of putting…

Chicken Clicking

Andersen books always have a slight edge to them and this one is no exception. Here, Jeanne Willis introduces us to Chick, an adorable hatchling with a penchant for internet shopping and nocturnal break-ins. The narrative is rhyming and humorous, which is bound to cause a stir amongst listeners as Chick gets carried away ordering…

Drat that Cat!

Suzy Cat tests her family’s patience. She’s not cuddly like her close relative, Judith Kerr’s Mog: she’s scrawny, untidy and annoying, she piddles in Dad’s golf bag and she bites Granddad on the ankle. But when she stops eating, the family are distraught. She might even die! I am reminded here of Tony Ross’ earlier…

Fluff the Farting Fish

Elvie dreamed about a puppy, a real and fluffy puppy, to whom she could teach to bark or sit. So she is a bit disappointed when Mom brings home a pet fish. But not for long… Elvie calls him Fluff and starts to train him. To be honest, the fish isn’t great at barking, and…

Hippospotamus

The author / illustrator pairing of Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross are responsible for dozens of great books for young children, including the hilarious 'Dr. Xargle's' series – and Hippospotamus continues the winning combination. It begins… 'Hippopotamus had a spotamus…on her bottomus' and continues with poor Potamus seeking advice from all her animal friends as to how…

I Want a Boyfriend

Once again, Tony Ross delivers the stroppy antics of the well-loved Little Princess character with hilarious consequences. When Her Royal Highness spies her maid courting a General, the Royal Court is forced into appointing an honorary boyfriend – only for the princess to find out that boyfriends aren’t as fun as she thinks.  With plenty…

Lucinda Belinda Melinda Mc Cool

Lucinda Belinda Melinda McCool is a terrible creation, a horrible girl, a hateful person in a long line of disgusting characters in children’s literature. I love her. Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross have made a wonderful book in the tradition of Roald Dahl and other irreverent wordsmiths. Lucinda Belinda Melinda is image-obsessed. She is perfectly…

Manky Monkey

The partnership of Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross has done much to dispel the idea that picturebooks are only for the youngest children, and this title is another that will appeal to children up to 9 or 10. Ross’s bright and amusing illustrations perfectly complement the rhyming text and also make its meaning more explicit.…

Not Just a Book…

We all know that books are more than words and ink. They have the power to transport young minds to faraway places and help those dealing with stress find a safe place away from it all. But on a more practical level, the talented pairing of Willis and Ross show us in their latest offering…

Star Dragon

In some ways it is not fair to review these three books together, since each is good in its own right. I applaud Barrington Stoke’s policy of publishing books that are accessible to the less able reader, and I really like how this policy translates into the finished product. The books look, feel and behave…

The Cake, the Wolf and the Witch

Max is left harrowed and reclusive after the death of his mother. Although his father is now ready to move on and remarry, Max is loath to start a new life with his eccentric stepmother and her even wackier children. But when he finds himself stranded in a treacherous fantasy world with only his two…

The Children of Noisy Village

This quaint, delightful book depicts traditional rural life in pre-war Sweden, and was described by the author as ‘The Little House on the Prairie of Sweden’. Structured as a series of simple self-contained stories, it concerns the life of six children living on neighbouring farms near Noisy Village (North Farm, Middle Farm and South Farm).…

The Invisible Boy

Gary Gardner is a pathetic young boy when we first meet him. His father has just left his wife, taking Gary with him. Nobody asks Gary for his opinion, nobody cares. Gary becomes even more miserable when one misfortune follows another in his new life. He is now a latchkey child, neglected by his father…

The Legend of Captain Crow’s Teeth

As five brothers settle down to sleep, in their cramped holiday caravan, the eldest brother, 10-year-old Marty, retells the local legend of Captain Crow’s Teeth ‘with plenty of blood and guts’. The legend centers on a vicious pirate, who is reputed to wander the local rocks, searching for a 9-year-old cabin boy who sunk an…

The Queen’s Orang-utan (Comic Relief)

It is the Queen’s birthday and she is bored. Feeling trapped and surrounded by so much stuff of one kind and another, she decides that this year for her birthday gift she would like ‘One’s own orang-utan’. And as the Queen must always get what she desires, an orang-utan comes to join the royal household…

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