Kids' book reviews
We’ve scoured libraries and book stores for our top 10 reads for four- to seven-year-olds
1 Cars, Trucks And Things That Go
By Richard Scarry, Dhs45, Magrudy’s
With pages busier than a junior Dubai socialite’s diary, vehicle- obsessed little ones will pore over the lovingly drawn illustrations in this book for hours on end without getting bored. Of course, there are words, too – the story follows various animal families and their journeys through the traffic – but let’s face it, they are of little consequence when you’ve got this many cool pictures of tanks, fire trucks and diggers to distract you.
2 The Cat In The Hat
By Dr Seuss, Dhs33, Kinokuniya
Iconic blue, white and red illustrations accompany this classic ’50s tale of a mischievous cat who visits two bored youngsters one rainy day. Told in playful rhyming verses, you’ll pray that your own little kittens don’t get any ideas when reading about the Cat in the Hat’s naughty games and daring juggling feats, which involve a rake, a goldfish bowl (complete with terrified goldfish) and a birthday cake, among other things. You might, however, want to read the last pages, when the cat dutifully packs away all his mess, with particular clarity…
By David McKee, Dhs39, Magrudy’s
Even those unfamiliar with the storyline of Elmer will recognise the brightly coloured patchwork elephant from the massive line of merchandise based on him. The book carries an important message: essentially, Elmer gets fed up one day of looking different from all the other members of his herd. He sets about making himself grey in order to fit in, but soon learns that everyone loves him exactly as he is (and, thankfully, the book carries this off without being sickly sweet or too preachy).
4 The Enormous Crocodile
By Roald Dahl, Dhs39, Magrudy’s
No literary upbringing would be complete without a healthy dose of Dahl, and The Enormous Crocodile is particularly good for younger children due to its rich illustrations and simple structure. The storyline follows a crafty croc who roams the jungle bragging of his ‘secret plans and clever tricks’ – namely to disguise himself as a coconut tree, or a seesaw, or a fairground ride and eat some fat, juicy children. Young readers will not fail to fall in love with Dahl’s trademark roguish humour, which is laced throughout the book.
5 The Jolly Postman
By Janet and Allan Ahlberg, Dhs77, Kinokuniya
Ridiculous amounts of fun can be had with this absolute gem of a book. The jolly postman is doing his rounds and on his travels he encounters a host of fairytale characters, from Goldilocks to the beanstalk-dwelling giant. With each delivery there’s an envelope with a real letter inside (a publisher informs Cinderella that her story is to be turned into a book and the witch from Hansel and Gretel receives junk mail advertising products including ‘big brooms for the larger witch’). In our experience kids just won’t tire of taking them out and discovering the contents time and time again.
Time Out Dubai,