This book shows Hughes at her most assured. Alfie is expressively drawn against an impressionistic landscape that shimmers with pure colour. A gift for a new generation of emerging readers to treasure, with plenty of themes to explore with both teachers and parents.
Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell (Collins Children's Books pound;9.99) is an inspired picture book that takes a full-frontal look at the highs and lows of young readers' mood swings. Cornell's invetive pictures, full of light and colour, follow the trials and tribulations, joys and jubilation of a little girl with a penchant for her mum's green high-heeled sandals and a tendency towards big emotions. Full of wit and insight, this is a book that gives comfort and pleasure.
It was bound to happen. Preston Pig is in "lurve" - and it's reciprocated. Mr Wolf doesn't get a look in. Oomph! (Andersen Press pound;9.99), Colin McNaughton's latest Preston picture book, follows his unlikely hero to the seaside, where he is wooed ardently on the beach by a very pink piggess in a very green and yellow costume. Mr Wolf, who strapped himself to the roof rack for the trip, is lurking ravenously as always. This pantomime of a wolf persistently thwarted and a pig persistently and blissfully unaware of present danger, never ceases to delight.
McNaughton's mischievous ironic humour and his consummate skill as a draughtsman ensure this series continues to be a winner.