Winning one-offs

The One And Only titles in the Orchard Crunchies series (Pounds 3.50 each) will delight early readers. With rhyme - or rather "rime" - so much a focus of literacy work at this level, who better to begin the series than Polly the Most Poetic Person?

Polly, who is addicted to rhyming, finds her talent an impediment when it comes to getting a job. A doctor fails to cure her, but she ends up working at a birthday-card factory. The doctor, receiving a card from Polly every year, eventually catches the rhyming habit himself. A whacky story, whackily illustrated by Tony Ross, with lots of repetition.

Other titles in the series are: Bruno the Bravest Man (see picture), who would be lost without Kate, who carries the bags; Ruby the Rudest Girl (her bad language, re-erupting on the final page, just as the book seems to be ending on a delicate moral note, will be a sure hit with six-year-olds); Harold the Hairiest Man (he marries a hairdresser, who calls out, "Hello Harold, you lovely big hairy man", and then ends up turning him into a baldy); and Boris the Brainiest Baby (who can speak and dress himself from day one).

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