Although my copy of Oksa Pollock came through from the Mumsnet Book Club before this, it is, ahem, rather longer and is languishing on the TBR pile at the moment. I will get to it soon though, honest. But the younger children’s pick is much easier to review.
As soon as the book came through the letterbox, or rather out of its jiffy bag, fils cadet was hooked. The cover features a small rhino saying NO! very loudly. It’s a word he can read. And one with guaranteed small child appeal.
Archie was adorable. Everybody said so. Until one day he learned a new word… No!
Archie says his new word with great enthusiasm in all situations, whether appropriate or not, and soon it gets him into trouble. The scenario is instantly familiar to toddlers and their parents – small child, drunk on the power of NO! In the end, though, Archie realises that this strategy doesn’t always yet the best results. When he ends up sad because he’s missed out on a cake and on playing with his friends, and got stuck out alone in the rain because of his new favourite word, his dad asks if he wants a hug. There’s only one possible answer: “N-nnnn… Yes!” Now Archie has a new favourite word.
Fils cadet had no problem picking up on the meaning and we had a good chat about how sometimes “no” is the right answer, but there are other times when “yes” would be better. (Incidentally, that’s true for parents as well.)
The illustrations are charming and convey all the emotions of the story beautifully. All in all, it comes highly recommended for anyone with a stroppy toddler to tame. Or maybe a teenager, or a boss…