Last January we reviewed the lovely Morgan's Magic Moon by Christopher Parry. I was sold on the striking illustrations and the smooth flow of the rhyme, and Marianna was thrilled by the idea of a red headed protagonist with a small canine sidekick - just like her and my mum's dog!
So, today, I'm really pleased to be able to share a review of the next book in the series, Morgan & Cwtch. Cwtch, the name of the story's super cute dog, is a Welsh word for which there is no literal translation, but is basically a cuddly, snuggly kind of a hug.
As I said last time around, I absolutely love the stylized illustrations and the bright colour palette used by Jordan Brown. I am notoriously picky about the artwork in children's books - quietly swapping out books for editions with subjectively better illustrations is practically a full time hobby these days! - so that's no faint praise.
As for the story itself, the blurb sums it up well with: What do you do when there's fish at the window and you are under the sea? You open the door and begin to explore. Follow Morgan and Cwtch on their underwater adventures and how they come to the rescue of one of their new friends. This is a delightful children's story about helping others in need.
The story is easy to follow and, like its predecessor, the rhyme flows easily off the tongue - so important when a faltering syllable might seem like nothing until you've had to read a story twenty times over. I love that the central message is about helping others too. It sets up an easy in for further discussion without overly hammering the point home.
This time around Marianna was even able to join in with the reading; I really liked that Cwtch the dog's speech was highlighted with large letters - it provided the perfect starting point for Marianna to chip in and sound words out. The layout and text are both attractive and clear, which make it a joy to read even with little fingers wanting to trace out your progress.
Marianna says: I liked it. My favourite bit was when they met the mermaid. And I liked the dog because he was really nice. He reminded me of Molly.
To pick up a copy for yourself, head on over to gwales.com where softcover copies are available for £4.99. Alternatively, fill out the Gleam widget below to get up to five chances to win one: