New baby blues

22nd September 2000 at 01:00
Elaine Williams looks at books on children's rights, a new baby in the family and the Arthurian legend

Polly's Running Away Book by Frances Thomas, illustrated by Sally Gardner, pictured above (Bloomsbury Children's Books pound;9.99), is a delightfully witty exploration of a young girl's reaction to an imminent new baby in the family.

Polly's subliminal anxieties are mixed in with everyday conerns: about whether she's friends with Kelly or Lisa; whether she can manage her eight times table; embarrassment over her Dad's behaviour and a fascination with the fact that people in Tudor times threw their poo out of the window.

Her hilarious, fragmented commentary is well matched by Gardner's inventive collages which aptly express the whirligig of the child's passing thoughts.

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