So much for waking up to the sound of birdsong…
It’s 05:30. I’ve woken to a sodden nappy on my face. Ben, our one year old, likes to clamber into the bed and lie not near us, not beside us, but on us. If we’re lucky he’ll offer to share his dummy. The kids wake ravenous. Alice, three, will roar from the other end of the hallway that she needs “BIX! NOW”. That’s Weetabix, but there’s no time for the full word. That stuff comes out like mortar and dries like cement caked on every surface of the house. It’s hardened on the floors and the walls. Yesterday it was inside my shoe.
It’s 07:15. Time to bathe? Sure. All of my showers last between three and four minutes. Any longer, and there’s a good chance the kids will shove bagels in the DVD player and crawl into the dryer. Let me reassure you… I’m clean… it’s just no Herbal Essences commercial. These days, Ben stands at the shower screen and licks it. If he’s cross, he’ll wipe bogies on it. Both activities are a vast improvement on combing his hair with the toilet brush.
It’s 07:20. I sit down on the couch with a cold coffee. I forgot to boil the kettle so am imagining it’s some über trendy cold-pressed coffee malarkey from East London. (It’s good to have an imagination). Like heat seeking missiles, both kids zoom in to sit on top of me. You don’t even want to know what it’s like trying to nip to the loo.
I love my kids. Love them to bits. But as Pippa Goodhart so concisely puts it in ‘My Very Own Space’… sometimes “I want a space that’s just for ME”. In this picture book, little Jack rabbit is at his wits’ end. The opening spread bustles with busy little rabbits creating a bit of a ruckus. They’re sneezing, singing, kicking, dancing, drumming and basically gadding about. They’re pretty darn cute. But Jack rabbit just wants to read his book, aptly titled ‘Space Bunny’. Taking matters into his own paws, Jack grabs a crayon and draws a line around him that nobody can cross. His very own space. I won’t say much more, and for one very good reason…
Pippa has been writing books for over 20 years, with 80 titles to her name. But for all the words she’s written, over all of the years, in this story she barely uses a hundred. To create something that’s charming and relatable for all ages, with just the sparest of texts, is surely the measure of a true storyteller. Rebecca’s white backgrounds allow all of the little bunnies to bound about the page and steal the show. She masterfully captures about a zillion expressions from Jack – from wonderment and absorption to exasperation and crestfallen, complete with little flattened ears and furrowed brow.
I love a Flying Eye book. The artistic integrity is second to none. It’s all in the detail. From the hardcover, with its glossy patches to the fabric trimmed spine holding all of those lovely thick pages together. Just like Dogs in Cars which I had the pleasure of reviewing a few months back.
As for the subject matter… we ALL need a bit of time to ourselves every now and then – whether three minutes for a slapdash shower, or a quiet play without a boisterous sibling. Young readers will absolutely relate to the need for some “me” time, quickly followed by the need for companionship. As I write this, my two little cherubs have trotted off to nursery for the morning. I could brush my hair, read a book, or even scrape some Bix mortar off the floors.
But the thing is, I sort of miss the hullaballoo, so I’m off to collect them early J