I may be fast approaching sixty, but I just love the quality of children’s books produced by Maverick and I was thrilled to find three recent or soon to be released books waiting for me on my return from a recent trip away and would like to thank Valerie Hall for my surprise book post.
Today I have short reviews of The Pirate Who Lost His Name by Lou Treleaven, illustrated by Genie Espinosa and available for purchase here, of The Moosic Makers by Heather Pindar, illustrated by Barbara Bakos and available for purchase here, and of I, Pod written by Rebecca Lisle, illustrated by Richard Watson and available for purchase here.
Previous Maverick publications I’ve featured on Linda’s Book Bag include:
Colin Mulhern’s Buttercup Sunshine and the Zombies of Dooooom reviewed here.
The Pop Puffin by Jill Atkins, illustrated by Kelly Breemer and King Carl and the Wish by Clare Helen Welsh and illustrated by Marina Pessarrodona, both reviewed here.
Froggy Day by Heather Pindar and illustrated by Barbara Bakos reviewed here.
Not Yet A Yeti by Lou Treleaven and illustrated by Tony Neal reviewed here.
The Oojamaflip by Lou Treleaven and illustrated by Julia Patteon, Scary Scott by Katie Dale illustrated by Irene Montano and Nanny Ninja by Jenny Jinks, illustrated by Sean Longcroft all reviewed here.
The Pirate Who Lost His Name
There was once a pirate. A very piratey pirate. He had everything a pirate was supposed to have. The only thing he didn’t have was a name. He’d forgotten it!
My Review of The Pirate Who Lost His Name
This is such a fun story with considerable humour for children and adults alike. I loved pirate Captain Dreamboat with his pink man bun and self-obsession and the frustrated expression on the parrot’s face as he tries to communicate with the pirate whose name is missing.
The Pirate Who Lost His Name has just enough piratey direct speech to give authenticity without undermining language acquisition for children. Indeed, the mis-use of ‘me’ instead of ‘my’, ‘ye’ for ‘you’ and ‘yer’ for ‘your’ would make excellent talking points about how our language helps create an impression of who we are. So too would the elements that make up the pirate. I can imagine lots of discussion about stereotypes leading to role play and great excitement. The fact that the pirates are not all male and that others in the story have different coloured skin, are different shapes and sizes and ages conveys super messages about equality and acceptance.
The illustrations are a joy because they help tell the story. It isn’t written how the pirate lost his name, but the pictures show what happened so that children can make predictions and become actively involved in the narrative. There’s so many opportunities to use the book in several ways with numeracy through counting the different style of beards perhaps, or creativity in deciding the parrot’s name, for example.
Once again, Lou Treleaven has created a super book for children in The Pirate Who Lost His Name.
The Moosic Makers
Nutmeg and Celery love their MOO-grass music and when Farmer Joni needs a new barn roof, it seems the perfect way to help raise money. Will MOO-grass music be enough or will they have to change their tune?
My Review of The Moosic Makers
What a clever book! Adults will love the word play references to music from the farmer being called Joni to Moo-grass and Discow genres or the animal band being called The Jersey Bleats, and I can envisage lots of fun being had with children as the real versions of music are discovered too. There’s a real opportunity for class room research here as well as simply sharing a story with a child in the home. Geography, music, newspapers and money could all become linked topics.
Whilst most of the language used is fully accessible and slightly older children would be able to read The Moosic Makers independently, there are smashing new words like ‘winsome’ to extend vocabulary so that children learn through their enjoyment. I would chat with them about safety too when Nutmeg and Celery hitch-hike home so that stranger danger might be discussed in a safe and comforting environment. Mr Smarm affords a similar opportunity.
The illustrations add a smashing level of interest. It would be lovely to create some artwork based on the story such as festival posters.
The Moosic Makers would be a valuable addition to any home or classroom.
Pod is in trouble when one of his inventions puts baby Nim in danger, but it’s okay because she knows exactly where to point the blame!
My Review of I, Pod
I, Pod is a brilliant story for children. There’s smashing humour as Pod tries to get Nim to learn his name and there are great spelling and phonetic opportunities as she attaches the wrong letter instead of d. The use of onomatopoeia illustrates how children can develop their own writing too.
The story is exciting and dramatic so that children will be hugely engaged. Illustrations are vibrant and exciting. I think some children might even be slightly frightened by the images of the fish and tiger so that they can discuss emotions and fear safely with the adults, but many will just love the level of peril and the opportunity to discover a story set in the time of dinosaurs. This works especially well when it’s actually a mammoth who saves the day.
I thought it was inspired to find Pod trying to think of an excuse for all Nim’s missing belongings as fibbing and taking responsibility are aspects of life children need to understand.
I really enjoyed I, Pod and I know children will too.
Common to all three books is a place for a class or child to write their name at the beginning. I love this concept because it creates the impression that books are special and to be valued and what could be better than engendering a love of books and reading?
I really do think Maverick have captured the very best of children’s fiction, early reader and picture books in their catalogue. I’d recommend them for home and school because, as well as being beautifully designed, they offer so many learning opportunities as well as great enjoyment.
If you’re a parent, grandparent, teacher, librarian or teaching assistant I’d highly recommend having a look at what Maverick have on offer.