Boy by James Mayhew

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Boy by James Mayhew

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A beautifully illustrated picture book to share with young children, especially if they like pre-historic creatures.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: July 2011
Publisher: Orchard
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1408314098

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Boy is chilly, and looking for somewhere cosy to snuggle up. He doesn't want to share with his parents though so he goes off exploring by himself to find the perfect cosy spot. Several times he thinks he's discovered somewhere, but then it turns out to be where a sabre-toothed tiger lives, or the home of a woolly mammoth. Will he ever find the place that's perfect just for him?

I liked Boy. It's a simply told story and is easy for small children to follow as we see Boy traipse around his world, meeting strange creatures and looking for something every child can identify with - a cosy spot to snuggle up. The language Boy uses also reflects that of a small toddler, so in each place he discovers he says Here's warm and then on being told that he can't stay there he immediately asks, in true toddler style, why not?

The animals that Boy meets are interesting and unusual - a sabre-toothed tiger, a woolly mammoth and a dinosaur, and they allow for plenty of discussions later. My little girl was interested in the cave drawings of those animals on the walls of Boy's home, so it was fun to talk with her about how history was recorded many, many years ago. The book's illustrations are wonderful, soft pastel drawings with pleasing colours and some gorgeous skies. Because the writer has illustrated the book himself the pictures seem to work especially well together with the text.

There's one page where the boy, after discovering that a warm volcano is perhaps not the safest place to snuggle down, is running back to his home and the pictures are panels across the page so we see him running back past the dinosaur, back past the mammoth, back past the sabre toothed tiger, revisiting all the places he's been. This is the same format as we see in We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, and it always seems to work well with younger tots as they love that repetition and the way it reinforces what they've just seen happen in the story. A lovely story to share with both boys and girls.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: James Mayhew has written lots of other lovely stories, including those about Ella Bella Ballerina.

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Buy Boy by James Mayhew at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Boy by James Mayhew at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Boy by James Mayhew at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Boy by James Mayhew at


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