Thursday, 26 January 2012

Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy

Michael Rosen is coming to the boys' school! Anticipation has been quietly building in this house and is now reaching bubbling point. Last night:
Eddie (worried): 'But will Michael Rosen wear glasses Mum?'
Me: 'Not sure Eddie'
Eddie (definite): 'Yes. Yes he will wear glasses' (glasses are very aspirational items for that boy)
Me: 'Shall we look at some pictures of him on the computer and see?' (I'm going to need to let him down gently if he is, as I believe, spec-free.)
So we go online and find multiple images of the Great Man...showing very intermittent use of reading glasses but...
Eddie:'Oh! He has a beard.' (suitable awed pause of approbation), 'I love Michael Rosen Mum.'

We then spent a very happy half hour watching his fab performances on YouTube with Eddie's eyes shining and quivery with happiness. This a particular hit for giggles.

When the news was broken of his visit I had a shame-faced rummage through our shelves and realised the only book of his we had was the standard issue (but obviously wonderful) 'We're going on a Bear Hunt'. As Eddie a big fan of poetry generally I remedied that with a trot up the hill to the bookshop and bought 'Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy'.

 Eddie normally has to be forced to hear a book a few times before he decides whether or not he's going to 'adopt' it but not this one. This was admitted to the honoured Bed Book Stack the very same night and he's been reading it constantly since. It helps that it's illustrated by Quentin Blake of whom he wholeheartedly approves but he's always loved the 'mouthfeel' of well put together words and rhymes and these chew down nicely for him.

 'Tiffy Taffy

Tiffy taffy toffee
on the flee flo floor.
Tiffy taffy toffee
on the dee doe door.
Kiffy kaffy coffee
in a jig jag jug.
Kiffy kaffy coffee
in a mig mag mug.'

The book also came with an audio CD of  Michael Rosen himself reading them. Now I  feel a bit ambivalent about the tendency of every new picture book these days to be accompanied by a CD. They're normally far too short to be useful for journeys etc. and they make the cover more bulky to manipulate and the book less satisfying to hold.
This is a marvellous exception and has for once truly enhanced our enjoyment of the book. It's on a constant loop in the car.

The only downside of the Michael Rosen fever is Eddie's new found tendency to squash his peas on his knees at the dinner table and his attempts to stick his toe up my nose (see here). The other only downside is that I don't get to see Michael Rosen too!

'Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy' written Michael Rosen, illus. Quentin Blake, pub. Bloomsbury isbn 978-0-7475-8738-5

No comments:

Post a Comment