Children's Book of Books

10th March 2000 at 00:00
This year's Children's Book of Books, the pound;1 commemorative pocket anthology subsidised by the book trade for World Book Day, is the most collectable collection yet: no extracts, but a collection of self-contained stories and poems, many with a modern classic flavour, selected for children up to 12. The opening William story, retold by Martin Jarvis from Richmal Crompton's original, is a rib-tickler involving runaway dogs and outraged citizens and reading it indues a warm glow. Another highlight is Michael Rosen's story poem, "My Brother Gets Letters", about a boy who starts to correspond with mail order companies so that the postman will no longer pass him by. This is a 1977 poem which pre-dates both e-mail and the widespread use of the word "duvet": one of the subsequent unwanted deliveries is an eiderdown. Most independent readers will find something to enjoy, and there's good read-aloud material here too.

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