Sometimes I randomly pick up a book and almost instantly fall in love with it. And occasionally th...here. It's odd how often we agree but then sometimes I think I've found something fabulous and she just doesn't take to it - we don't share these on the blog as, after all, our reviews reflect what we actually enjoy reading.
I recently picked up 'Tickle My Ears' by Jorge Muhle at the Edinburgh Book Festival (which was awesome, I'll probably write a full blog post at the end of the festival) and I couldn't resist it. I was absolutely delighted to read this with BookBairn as she really 'got it' right from the first read.
This is a story about a little rabbit who is getting ready for bed. A book you think you've read many times before, right? Wrong! This is so clever. It's interactive. Not with flaps, or touch and feel, or loop-the-loops. It simply asks your child to join in with the routine. And even at 17 months, BookBairn can follow the simple instructions. Have a look at the video below to see what I mean.
When we first see Little Rabbit he is faced away from us, clutching his blanket (and possibly rubbing his eyes) - tell tale signs for anyone that it's bedtime. The text says 'tap him on the shoulder - will he turn around?' and as you turn the page you see his buck-tooth smile, holding his toothbrush getting ready for bed. For little ones like BookBairn they've had that first reward! Follow the instructions and the bunny does something new. Clap you hands to get him to put his pajamas on. Say 'Hoppity-hop' and he hops into bed. Tickle his ears. Rub his back. Give him a kiss. And finally turn out the light. What a lovely bedtime routine. Though for us, it's a shame that story time is missed out. But I'm not quite sure how you could make that work so it's forgiven.
Little Bunny is truly adorable and his expression remains relatively simple throughout the book, except when he is having a huge yawn! There are no backgrounds and the details remain quite simple, usually revolving around the object you are interacting with like his pajamas or blanket. There is a simple colour palette and no textured elements (which I have seen other reviewers have said they would prefer so that children have something to 'feel' when they interact with the book). I think this is to the book's advantage. It means little ones can focus purely on the task at hand and that's getting Little Rabbit to bed. BookBairn certainly didn't miss them and is quite happy to stroke Little Bunny's back without feeling his fluffy fur or smooth pajamas. There is nothing to take away from the interaction. And, for me, that's what makes this book so clever.
So clever, in fact, that I immediately googled the author/illustrator to find out if there was more and there is another title in German. So I contacted the publisher and they said the English version would be available in January. And I can't wait to share with BookBairn in helping Little Bunny with his bath time routine.
This a such a lovely book and would be great for reinforcing bedtime routine with little ones who, let's put it politely, resisting! It's also one of those board books that's a lovely size for little readers to 'play' with by themselves and I see BookBairn doing this already. It's cute, it's quirky, it's interactive. What's not to love?!
Hope you have as smooth a bedtime routine as Little Rabbit - though I'd also hope you have a story or two in there!