The Grunt and the Grouch are great universal characters and bounce off each other so well. They're also great at causing trouble and what children don't like hearing about characters causing mayhem? Hehe.
Hubble, Bubble, Granny Trouble by Tracey Corderoy and Joe Berger
This series is right up my six year old's street. From witches to spells to the colour scheme of the book, it is everything she enjoys and because the picture book was such a hit, I invested in a whole set of the chapter books.
However, I have to confess I have found these a little disappointing.
The premise is that Pandora is embarrassed by her magical Granny and begs her not to do spells (well most of the time). This doesn't really change throughout the stories, although the seasons, settings and scenarios do change and offer a tempting variety. From fright night to bake off to winter, there is bound to be a story that appeals. They just didn't hold my daughter's attention and she very quickly stopped asking for them.
As I have said above, I am a huge fan of Tracey Corderoy, especially her rhyming picture books. The Grunt and the Grouch picture book is non-rhyming but hilarious (the book begins and ends with a double spread picture of all the icky things on the Grunt's shelf and they love it!). The Hubble Bubble chapter books have five star reviews on Amazon and so we might return to them and give them another go. I would also be interested to see how Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton's latest cross-over series, Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam is received in our house. As we have yet to try the chapter books, watch this space...
I'm so glad I did.
Jemima and Jakey's world is chaotically turned upside down when they meet their new babysister Marge. Marge is tiny, has rainbow hair, royal connections and has done everything you can possibly imagine- well so she says. Throwing Mum's rulebook out the window, Marge leads sensible Jemima and mischievous Jakey on brilliantly wild and wacky adventures.
Marge is Charge was a success and even though my daughter oftern pretended not to be listening...she was!
There are currently four books in this series, each book containing three separate stories. Marge and the Pirate Baby and Marge and the Great Train Rescue are equally as funny. (Look out for the wedding story as that is a personal favourite!) However, for me, the fourth book, Marge and the Secret Tunnel didn't live up to the standard of the first three. The pace seemed to drop, the adventures were a bit more mundane and attention waned. It felt like it was written differently-maybe in a rush-and didn't hold the same level of sparkle.
Is Marge getting tired? I really hope not, for when she is on form these books are brilliant.
The Naughtiest Unicorn by Pip Bird and David O'Connell
We came across this series, published by Egmont, when my daughter was sneakily searching on Amazon for mermaid and unicorn stuff and brought this to my attention, knowing that if it's a book then she might just be allowed it. Thrilled that she was finally taking an interest in chapter books and dazzled by the rainbow/unicorn cover, I indulged her and we started the book the next day.
There was some lovely diversity in this book and the usual sibling rivalry was countered by the strong theme of friendship. Dave provides bags of comic humour and, in the end, it was my son who fell in love with this book. (Apparently, for my daughter the read did not match the thrill of the purchase!) At four years old he drank in every detail and recounted them, delighted that in the interactive quiz at the end, 'Which unicorn are you?", he came out as Dave. Must be the shared love of doughnuts!
My one quibble was that the complex time difference between worlds seemed unnecessary. It worked for Narnia but I'm not sure it worked here. Going off to unicorn school in the holidays sounded perfect but having days at unicorn school squeezed into one 'normal' day seemed odd, especially as it was only mentioned at the start of the book.
However, we loved this glitter-mad tale. Glitter-picking in a glitter glade is enough to convince me to read more of this series and my son is already asking for more of loveable Dave. What more can my daughter want?
I'm not quite sure but, as we continue our journey from picture book to chapter book, I know I'm having a whale of a time and we've had some fantastic fun among the reading. There's nothing more frustrating than getting excited about a book only for them to turn their back at the end of the first page. But, no pressure! We'll give it a bit longer then move on to something else. Old, new, wacky...you name it, we'll try it.
This blog takes no credit for images of book covers posted on this site. All links to the images and books mentioned are below and taken from Goodreads.
Hubble Bubble Granny Trouble https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39791535-the-wacky-winter-wonderland-the-messy-monkey-business-granny-trouble?ac=1&from_search=true
Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39603346-the-spooky-school-the-diamond-chase-the-cat-burglar-shifty-mcgifty
Marge in Charge https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30167966-marge-in-charge?ac=1&from_search=true
The Naughtiest Unicorn https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43404345-the-naughtiest-unicorn