Last week, the kids were finally able to spend their hard-earned pocket money. It took six weeks to raise a bounty of eight gold coins each. (We’ve been reading Jack and the Beanstalk so “gold coins” is our currency of choice; that and singing harps.) To earn this treasure, all they needed to do was: 1) Make their beds; 2) Eat their green things (not bogies); 3) Not kill each other.
They succeeded brilliantly at 1) and 2).
Off we trotted to the shop; a treasure trove of tat, which means my three-year-old, could have ANYTHING his little heart desired. His pudgy hand hovered as he walked around the store. The teeny-tiny scented erasers? No. The dinosaur suspended in slime? An unexpected nope. Then he stopped, eyes shining, as he locked onto a shiny pink mermaid. She had two ponytails, a soft body, and glistening scales. It was LOVE. “That! That!” Ben roared and bounded off to the cash register. As he proudly skipped out of the shop, Ben announced “Her name’s… CHOPPER!” Well, why not!? Chopper’s not left his side since, and we’re wondering how he ever existed without her.
I guess that’s what these comforters do best. Call them snugglies, lovies, blankies or, err, Chopper, they’re something little people can squeeze tight to feel safe and calm. It’s a bit like having your Mum close at all times. But should they lose them – HEAVEN FORBID THEY LOSE THEM – finding them is like traversing the nine circles of Dante’s Inferno. Which brings me neatly onto Lucy Rowland and Paula Metcalf’s picture book ‘Have You Seen My Blankie?’ Not the inferno bit of course, but the lost comforter.
Young Alice has a little check blankie (not unlike an Italian restaurant tablecloth) that she takes to bed every night. But uh oh… it’s gone missing! Alice marches off on a mission to bring blankie home. (Again, I have to stress that this is NOT through the nine circles of Dante’s Inferno). Her brother has seen it and points her towards the giant. He had it for a time, but points her towards the witch, but alas, it was nicked from her too. As Alice’s exploration takes her deeper into the woods she finds blankie in the clutches of a dragon!
Alice felt a little scared. “That’s my blankie!” she declared. But suddenly… she realised that this dragon wasn’t tough.
The dragon sadly bowed his head. “It’s just so very soft,” he said. “Your blankie helps me sleep because my bed is cold and rough.”
If that won’t melt your heart, than I don’t know what will! It certainly melted Alice’s heart, and she quickly retraces her steps to the witch, giant and finally her bro to find something snuggly, soft and warm for dragon.
Lucy Rowland is fast becoming a rhyming master in the league of Julia Donaldson. Whatever the meter, she delivers flawless lines that are a joy to read aloud. And as always, there’s plenty of heart as the story winds down for bed. Paula’s illustrations are joyful too – the warm colour palette seemingly glows as you snuggle under the covers. So grab your favourite Chopper, and cosy up for this altogether lovely bedtime story.[Book supplied by the publisher for possible review on MyBookCorner, according to our policy. We review the books we love.]