Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Open Mic Wednesday - Everyone Welcome!

Good day everyone.  It's Open Mic Wednesday here on Storywraps and I'm glad to welcome our resident guest blogger Natalie Finnigan back to the mic.  Christmas is fast approaching so this month I want to feature many Christmas-themed books and related reading adventures as a means of celebrating the holiday season.  Here's Natalie and I'm so glad she is here...

Natalie Finnigan was born in Suffolk, England, and re-discovered her love for writing rhymes after the birth of her son, Alex, in 2010. Having already published two short, rhyming picture books based on three characters (Alex, Dragon and Spider), Natalie is enjoying branching out into other picture books and is currently writing a pre-teen novel to be used as a teaching text for English as a Foreign Language.

Silly Sprouty Story

Authored by Helen Baugh

Illustrated by Ben Mantley

Ages 4-8

I'll confess to having a weakness for rhyming picture books. It's a love/hate thing frequently - I can't help but want to correct the rhythms and near rhymes that annoy me, but when the story is done well these irritations fade away and I enjoy every second of reading them. So when my partner came across Rudey's Windy Christmas I picked it up with some trepidation. It was obvious that it was a book about a reindeer with wind by the front cover - seasonal, topical and quite typical of a book written to appeal to children, I thought, hoping that it wasn't going to be one of those books that my 5 year old son finds funny (as most boys find books about bottoms, wind and all other things bottom related) but I hate as they can be repetitive with the main theme being to get the word bottom into the story as often as possible! 
Luckily, as I scanned through, it was incredibly cleverly written. I had never known there were so many ways to describe a fart "Oh dearie me!" said Rudey, "Now I've done a windy pop. This is a bit embarrassing. I'll do my best to stop!" The reindeer giggled in the story and, later on at bedtime, so did my son. As Santa travels the world, delivering the presents, Rudey is accompanying the gifts with an unwanted sprouty whiff! As the reindeer laugh harder and harder it could have all ended in disaster except...well I'll leave it there except to say there was more waiting for Santa back at the North Pole than a hot cup of cocoa!

There are lots of repetitive bits to allow children to join in and get involved in the story, the rhyming is solid and the variations of language around the windy theme is inventive. Three nights on, we're adding sniffing sound effects and still giggling together and I think this story may well run all the way to Christmas!

So, if you're ready to get into the Christmas spirit, and enjoy fart related stories, this one is well worth a read!

About the author...

Helen wrote her first book (a book of spells) as a very young child. After taking a degree, travelling and working as a copywriter for more than twenty years, she finally came full circle and started writing children's books again. Helen lives with her partner and their two daughters near the sea in Sussex.
Her first picture book, The Witch with an Itch, was published by Jonathan Cape in October 2014. HarperCollins published Rudey's Windy Christmas in November 2014!  The Witch with an Itch: Dragon v. Dinosaur was published in September 2015.

Read on and read always!

It's a wrap.

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