Do You Remember? by Helen Docherty and Mark Beech
|Do You Remember? by Helen Docherty and Mark Beech|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Plenty of emotion to tug on those heart-strings...really, really lovely but don't read it if you're having a weepy day!|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: February 2016|
|Publisher: Faber & Faber|
|External links: Author's website|
We have various picture books in our house that have a tendency to leave me a little blurry eyed, whilst my children remain entirely nonplussed! Aimed at sparking some parental emotion, the stories behind them are often a little lacking. This book, however, works for both children and grown ups, in a really lovely way. Beginning with a small child's cry of I can't do it! the mum in the story reminisces about all the many different (and funny) things that her child has learned to do over the years, encouraging her that she has always got there in the end.
It can sometimes be difficult to encourage persistence in small children, who grow easily frustrated when they can't get the hang of things first time round. I really like that this story uses the encouragement of past successes to urge children on to new achievements, and that the successes drawn upon in the story are things that almost all able-bodied children naturally learn to do from sitting up by themselves, to learning to crawl, to using the potty! The mother's memories go backwards in time, which is where the tugging on the heart-strings come in, since as you read it to your little one you start to think back over the passing years and all those happy milestones you've made it through together. The last two are the first time the baby smiled at the mum, and the first time she grabbed the mum's finger accompanied, of course, with sweet pictures that make you remember your own sweet babies.
The illustrations are delightful, sweet drawings with the same sort of busy style as Quentin Blake. There's humour, with the showing of the first potty to all the mum's friends as well as poor Grandpa getting wet with the first proper jump into a puddle! I had a chuckle over the picture of the mum and child on a bus, where the child is singing a song for the first time, over and over again. My personal experience of bus travel with small children leads me to believe that all the smiling faces of the passengers in the illustration are an incorrect representation of being on the bus! Still, maybe the child was singing really, really nicely! Some of the 'first time' moments are captured in a frame, which is rather nice, and there are just the right amount for the story to leave you thinking about everything very happily.
This lovely book has both sentiment and story, with lots of 'do you remembers' to talk about whilst you're reading it, and some lovely rose-tinted glass memories to prompt a little mummy sniff about how delightful and lovely it was having a baby (glossing over the first time they threw up on you, the many times their stinky nappy required a clothing change for you and the baby, or the first time they spat out your delicious homemade baby food!) Sweet, funny pictures and a really lovely discussion to share, this is definitely recommended.
Further reading suggestion: For more tear-jerking delight try the classic Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram or this one which my little boy is fond of Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth.
You can read more book reviews or buy Do You Remember? by Helen Docherty and Mark Beech at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Do You Remember? by Helen Docherty and Mark Beech at Amazon.com.
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