Tony Mitton's metier is lyric narrative (if you haven't seen his latest verse collection, The Red And White Spotted Handkerchief from Scholastic, seek it out), so it is no surprise to find that Scary Raps, a slim sparkler in the Orchard Crunchies series (pound;3.50), contains, not raps, but two witty narrative poems illustrated by Martin Chatterton. "Mr Hide Hop" is based on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde while "Hound Dog Rap" is based on The Hound of the Baskervilles. Both will be a hit with Year 1 and above.
There's lots of phoneme fun to be had with the anarchic chorus of the Woody Guthrie song Howdi do!, (Walker Books pound;9.99, illustrated here):
"Howjee, heejee, hijee, hojee, Howdi do, sir, doodle-doo.
Howdi doosle, doodle-doozie, Howdi do, howdi do.
Howjee, hojee, heejee, hijee, Howdi do!" Vladimir Radunsky's collage illustrations are dazingly bright and the page design is superb. This joyous picture book is just what is needed at the start of a new school year for Reception up.