It was early one morning, eyes still blurry and my first dose of caffeine not quite rushing through my bloodstream, when I came across an email in my inbox inviting me to review Nana’s Knickers. It took me a little longer than normal to understand what lay in my inbox but when it clicked, I was absolutely delighted. It was an invitation from Blue Fluff Books and author Nico Russell, asking me to take a look at their new children’s book, the tale of a rather frantic Nana and her search for her beloved pair of spotty knickers.
It took no time at all from the book’s arrival, for my eldest to demand we sit down and read. I was also quite eager myself to discover the story that we held, with such an intriguing title.
Right from the start, this book reads with a beautiful pace and rhythm. The plight for the missing bloomers captured my 3yr olds imagination immediately and we quickly devoured each page. This book could easily appeal to an older audience of children than my son, with its impressive use of vocabulary that would test and develop new readers. In fact since reading Nana’s Knickers, it has introduced a selection of words to my toddler that he has been charmingly popping into sentences ever since.
It wasn’t long before I found myself warming to Nana and her clear joie de vivre. This grandma is not spending her golden years doing crosswords, but doing the fandango with Mr McGurt, having tea and scones with the vicar and my personal favourite, quaffing bubbles and croissants for breakfast. My son connected with Nana on an emotional level (it was only that morning we had misplaced a favourite toy train) and he was keen to see a happy ending, which did not disappoint.
The illustrations by Charlie Meyer are absolutely delightful, full of bright colours and intriguing details. We would often find ourselves stopping to catch and point out specific parts of the drawings throughout the story.
It was on our 3rd read of the book that my son discovered a particular element of the story and images that he absolutely adored. On one page was the mention of a mouse trap, which in turn made him spot that throughout the story a cheeky little mouse can be found hiding amongst the house. This was a brilliant addition that I found added excitement and interaction to the book.
We are now on our umpteenth read of the book, having read it most days since it hit our doormat and I can safely say I’ve not yet tired of reading the same words aloud again and again with my toddler happily sat on my lap.
We loved Nana’s Knickers and I was shocked to discover it was Nico Russell’s first steps in to the world of children’s fiction after a successful and award winning poetry background. The book read with the depth of character and witty humour shown by many more experienced children’s authors and I wouldn’t hesitate to say that I think Nico’s is a name that we will be seeing a lot more of in the literary world. The last page held a teasing introduction to the next book ‘A camel, a king and some carrots’ – a story that my family will be eagerly anticipating to see on the shelves.
With kind thanks to Blue Fluff Publishing, Nico Russell and Charlie Meyer for allowing Mumsnet Reading sample and review their impressive work. If you would like to buy a copy, head over to http://bluefluffbooks.com to get yours today.