Thursday 1 March 2012

REVIEW: The Tickle Book

There are loads of books I remember from childhood and love with a passion. One of these, I’m pleased to report, my three-year-old boy shares an appreciation for. It’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Another, I was gutted when he rejected – namely, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch. 

For a while, I was throwing my heart and soul into bedtime books, giving it the full RSC treatment with things like Grufallo and Room on a Broom by Julia Donaldson. Until he told me he didn’t like them anymore because they were too scary. 

I never quite know what he is going to go for, and have even taken to playing it cool about books so as not to frighten him off. He’s shown me that he likes interactivity....flaps and tabs are always a winner. And You Chose is a very inventively interactive book. We love it. 

And while I may not always see exactly what enchants him about the books he chooses – I am enchanted that he is enchanted. Quite frankly, I think Duffy Driver of the Little Red Train presents some fairly xenophobic attitudes in Green Light! But it hasn’t stopped me tracking down every single book in the series until our collection is complete and my train-book-spotting little sweetheart’s curiosity satisfied.  

But there was one book I found and felt very confident he would like. And I was right.

It’s The Tickle Book by Ian Whybrow, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. 

We’ve enjoyed stories by this writer particular Flying Diggers was a real winner. And the fantastic pictures by Axel Scheffler are familiar from Julia Donaldson classics like the Gruffalo. 

With pull tabs and flaps to lift, the Ticklemonster is lurking on every page, waiting to pounce, via the reader, on the child enjoying the book. 

Talk about reading can be fun. It’s interactive in its clever levers and pulleys, but also in its tickliness. 

Tickling is surely a major element of childhood. Since he was a little baby, it’s been one of the most fun things we’ve done with Max. Squeals and peels of contagious giggles and laughter fill the house with a good tickle. 

Ultimately, you hope that they will learn that anything and everything can be found in a book, and for such a joyous, simple light-hearted thing to be found there is genius. 

My little boy loves it. For a while roles reversed and he insisted on reading it to and tickling me. But he has gone back to being tickled now. It’s too much fun to miss out. I hope The Tickle Book will be one of those books my little boy remembers and loves from his childhood, and I hope he has fun passing it on...

Funnily enough, the subject of favourite children’s books has arisen on this blog recently. One person posted a comment listing favourite children’s books for daytime and bedtime, and included “My dream cup final” told to him by his daddy with the relevant team and manager inserted. I thought this was a fantastic idea as made up stories with real people in are the best – I must try it on my little one. Another comment told of reading a favourite Postman Pat book over and over – don’t they just love repetition? It was to a son as he recovered from meningitis. The mother wrote: “It gave me hope as he had loved it before becoming ill.” Very moving.

1 comment:

  1. "Postman Pat boy" also adored "Love You Forever" which we had on almost permanent loan from our public library. Despite losing his hearing totally in one ear, and having fine motor control and short term memory problems, he graduated from Durham University in 2009 with a degree in Theology, and is getting married this summer! We still quote bits of childhood books to each other, especially from "Love You Forever". Repetition is hugely comforting..... for the parents too.

    My younger child's favourite was "The Magic Lavatory" by Nicholas Allan which, to my embarrassment, he wrote a pastiche of, aged 7, and passed off as his own original work at school!