Tag Archives: Jo Empson

Chimpanzees for Tea!

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Chimpanzees for Tea!
Jo Empson
Puffin Books
With a nod to Pat Hutchins (Don’t Forget the Bacon) and a wink to John Burningham (The Shopping Basket) , Jo Empson conjours up a delicious story of a shopping trip undertaken by young Vincent at his mother’s behest. Concerned at the emptiness of the kitchen shelves, she sends him off to the shops, with the instruction to buy …

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and hurry home for tea!”
Off zooms the boy in his super go-cart, dashing past Mr Singh …

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but as he does so, the shopping list is whisked up in the air and far away leaving Vincent desperately trying to recall the items requested. Thus begins a frantic dash over hill and dale with him becoming increasingly muddled as he is distracted by what he sees on his journey – a big top,

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the zoo and a pet shop …

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his repeated chantings reflecting the places he passes.
By the time he gets back home, Vincent has managed to acquire a whole menagerie of guests, large and small and then there is nothing for it but to invite them all inside for …

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Wonderful Chinese whispers style rhyming word play combine with pacey illustrations that are full of vim and vigour. Observant listeners will notice the presence of a certain pigeon with the lost list chasing after Vincent throughout the whole farcical foray and delight in the opportunities to join in with chanting the list litany.
To be sure, another tasty treat from Jo Empson.

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Ways Home

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Little Home Bird
Jo Empson
Child’s Play
Little Bird’s home is all he could wish for so when, as the days grow colder and his big brother tells him it’s time to fly south to warmer climes, Little Bird feels more than a little sad. Without his favourite branch, his favourite food, his favourite music and that favourite view of his, the idea of two homes just doesn’t appeal to him. But then Little Bird has an idea: why not take all those favourite things along too, then no matter where he was, it would always feel like home.
Off fly the other birds leaving Little Bird to follow behind; but as the others get ever further ahead, a journey with so much baggage proves too difficult.

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Little Bird has no choice but to start to let go, and, one by one his favourite things find new homes.

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Delighting some of the recipients …

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After a long journey of many days and nights all the birds are safely at their winter home – Little Bird, sans favourite things – but it doesn’t take many days before he starts to discover exciting new things, some of which will become NEW favourite things.

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With those gorgeous illustrations, this is a smashing book to share, especially with youngsters who, for whatever reason, have more than one home.

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Nelly & Nora: The Windy Way Home
Walker Entertainment
The two young characters in this charming book, which is based on Emma Hogan’s CBeebies TV script, are an endearing pair. When the story opens the sisters have been playing down on the sand when suddenly as they lie down side-by-side, they notice the clouds moving fast above them and a bird seeming to fly backwards. “Toooooo windy!” announces Nora. “We should go home,” Nelly replies and off they set up the steps. At the top however the wind is so strong that it’s very difficult to walk and so begins a journey back to the camp that involves observations and experimentation on the girls’ part  …

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not to mention a whole lot of bunching up.

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With a ‘Make your own paper windmills’ activity included, this is just the thing to encourage young children to observe and find out about the world around them.

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