The Big Snuggle-up by Brian Patten and Nicola Bayley
|The Big Snuggle-up by Brian Patten and Nicola Bayley|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Jo Heffer|
|Summary: We are always on the lookout for good books for bedtime, and 'The BIG Snuggle-up' is just perfect for a cosy read before sleeping. It all starts on a snowy night when a small child invites a chilly scarecrow in from the freezing cold. He's very happy to warm up in front of the lovely fire but before long, many other characters decide to get in on the act too.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: October 2011|
|Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
Longlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2013
The story of The BIG Snuggle-up takes place on a very cold snowy day. The storyteller, a small child, tells the reader that because it was so cold he invited a scarecrow in to be a guest in his house. However, living in the scarecrow's sleeve is a little mouse, so the scarecrow asks whether the mouse can come in too. That's fine so:
Into the house and out of the snow
Came a mouse and an old scarecrow.'
Next, a butterfly spots what is going on so asks whether it is too late for him to come in and hibernate. After that a robin wants to leave its freezing nest; a squirrel offers to bring some nuts in return for shelter; a rabbit begs to be let in; and so it goes on. This is until the house is full of creatures all warming up in front of the lovely cosy fire and listening to the terrible storm that rages outside. It's all a bit crowded but it doesn't seem to matter as all of the creatures seem to be very happy.
This lovely book is a great story for telling at bedtime. The cumulative effect of all the different animals joining in is fun and young children can easily join in with the telling. It reminded my daughters of one of their favourite games when in the car which is 'I packed my bag...' In that game you have to take turns remembering what is in the bag already and then add to the ever increasing list. It's a similar thing in 'The BIG Snuggle-up' as the lines that I mentioned earlier are repeated throughout with each time adding a new creature at the end. My daughter loves this element of the book, and the other day I overheard her singing these lines rather than just reading them!In the end, there is a huge list:
Into the house and out of the snow
Came an owl, a fox, a heron, a donkey, a lamb, a fawn, a dog, a cat, a rabbit, a squirrel, a robin, a butterfly, a mouse,
and an old scarecrow.
You can imagine how small children would love joining in with this ever increasing refrain.
Brian Patten is the author and he has written the story partially in rhyme. He also uses simple but endearing descriptions of every creature's plight which makes the story very enjoyable to read out loud. Nicola Bayley has illustrated the book with stunningly detailed pictures on each page showing some wonderful interactions between all of the different creatures.
Overall, The BIG Snuggle-up is a charmingly gentle book that is likely to be read many times at bedtime for children of all ages. It is definitely a hit in our house. Another similarly cosy bedtime book that you might wish to take a look at is Bouncy Bouncy Bedtime by David Bedford and Julian Russell.
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