A Silver and a Gold on the Same Day – Not the Olympics, it’s Story Lab!

Reading recrod

Fils aîné’s reading record

In case you can’t decipher the handwriting, for the Story Lab Summer Reading Challenge, fils aîné has read:

  • Ambrose Goes for Gold by Tor Freeman
  • The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont
  • Rastamouse (not sure of the exact title, and it’s a TV tie-in so no one will ‘fess up to having written the thing)
  • A Quiet Night In by Jill Murphy

On the other side of the bookmark were the aforementioned Dr Xargle and My Mum and Dad Make Me Laugh by Nick SharrattThey were all rated 3 stars except the Rastamouse one, which only got 1 – that’s my boy!

My Mum and Dad is the story of a boy whose mum only likes spots, while his dad only likes stripes. They think the boy is very odd for prefering grey clothes and having a taste for buns. After a visit to the safari park, we find out why…

Ambrose seems an appropriately Olympic title for this summer, and has been retained for further reading. It’s the story of a young critter determined to win a gold medal in the Insect Games. Everybody seems better at everything than him, but in the end he finds that there is indeed something he’s the best at… Tor Freeman was a new author for me, but one to look out for.

The Elephant… has a good rhythm and simple repetitive structure. Fils aîné thought it a little odd, but seems to have liked it on the whole. It also teaches the importance of saying “please”, which is surely a point in its favour for parents everywhere…

Fortunately, it was mari granted the dubious honour of reading Rastamouse with all the right voices in the middle of the library. I haven’t had this one inflicted on me myself so can’t pass judgement. Only 1 star from the boy.

A Quiet Night In had us parents grinning in rueful recognition as Mr and Mrs Large (elephants, in case you didn’t know) attempt to have a nice dinner together for Mr Large’s birthday with the kids in bed. It doesn’t go altogether to plan…

Pretty much all these books could have been summed up with the same verdict that fils aîné wrote on Dr Xargle to complete the sentence: I liked this book because…

it was funny.

Fils cadet also completed his six books, and they got their gold and silver stickers at the same time, being too impatient to wait and have two separate goes at it. So now we have two new certificates to stick up with last year’s ones, a gold medal each and a huge pile of Munglers Top Trumps. They have an instant appeal to small boys, it seems, and the rest of the summer looks likely to be taken up with comparing the relative merits of Flobulus Flem, Gorgonox and the Iron Mungler… Still, it’s all reading, right?

Cover of "Ambrose Goes for Gold"

Cover of Ambrose Goes for Gold

About forwardtranslations

I'm a freelance literary translator from German and French to English. The title of my blog comes from Mary Schmich's description of reading: it struck home with me, and seems especially apt for translated fiction. Here are some of my musings on what I'm reading, re-reading, reading to my children, and translating.
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