We love doing book reviews, and are complete book hoarders and geeks, but this week our gratitude to the publishers who send us books to review is even greater than normal as it has helped Ollie as he recovers from a bit of a traumatic time in the dental hospital.
Ollie had a problem with two of his molars where the enamel just didn’t grow on them, leading to painfully decayed teeth which had to go. We were so shocked when we were first alerted to the problem as we have pretty low sugar kids who just have milk or water to drink at home and who are more likely to raid the fridge for carrots than beg for biscuits, which is not the cola swigging image we’d had of kids who have dental decay. After a couple of years of various appointments and attempts with temporary fillings, last Friday the offending teeth were finally removed under general anaesthetic, leaving Ollie relieved but very washed out, tired and sore this week. As a result, we have been even happier than normal to have not one, but three books to review. The first is a very funny book that fans of The Transylvania Hotel and The BFG will enjoy.
The Nothing To See Here Hotel, written by Steven Butler and illustrated by Steven Lenton, is a real joy of a book. It is full of the cheekiness and the gross humour that the boys adore. Ollie has been reading it himself, but we are also reading it as our bedtime book for Toby, and it’s taking a lot longer than expected as we have to keep stopping while they recover their breath after laughing their heads off. A goblin prince’s ‘plump grey bottom jiggling about like a pair of tiny over boiled chickens’ had them in hysterics for a good five minutes and they have learned a whole new vocabulary – spelling practice is now ‘grotly and stinksome’ and I am a ‘geriatric banshee’ for making them do it.
The story is inventive and captivating, and the illustrations are perfect to keep our youngest engaged in the story. An image of a garden lawn with crossed eyes shouting ‘Gerroff, someone’s messin’ with me bumly bits’ is something you won’t forget in a hurry. The Nothing To See Here Hotel has really sparked the kid’s imaginations, as they draw plans for how to turn their own rooms into secret dens accessed only by secret codes on armchair lifts where parents can’t barge in and tell them to tidy up. This book does what the very best children’s books do – it provides a good dollop of stinky literary compost in which to grow kid’s creativity and individuality in a world full of boring rules like ‘don’t put dinosaurs up your brother nose’.
Notes: We received a copy of the book from the publisher in order for us to provide a free review for Lovereading4kids. This is a great website to help chose the books that will suit your kids the best.