Iggy and Me and the Happy Birthday by Jenny Valentine

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Iggy and Me and the Happy Birthday by Jenny Valentine

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: Another outing for Iggy and Flo, this time looking at the build-up to Iggy's 6th birthday. Simple tales of everyday life they may be, but they're awash with so much charm and heart that you'll love them. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 160 Date: February 2010
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0007283637

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Ooh, hooray! Iggy and Flo are back! We loved their first outing, just as we love all Jenny Valentine's books for older readers. Flo's just your everyday run of the mill eight year old. Iggy's a normal five year old (going on six). Iggy's a funny little thing, Flo's sweet. They're sisters who do what sisters do, in a regular family. They learn to swim, they fall ill, they make cakes, they ride bikes. They toddle along with life and have a lovely time.

Jenny Valentine's Iggy and Me books might sound mundane, but they're an absolute delight. They're brimming with heart, with gentle humour, with fun and happiness. Each short story works perfectly on its own, making them ideal for newly confident readers who are moving on to longer books. The true strength, though, is the overall picture that the stories paint. Iggy and Flo are simply lovely kids that any young book fan (girl or boy) would love to have as their friends.

They're simple stories, brilliantly told. There's a real ear for how children are. When Iggy's making her birthday list, number 9 is pants with days of the week on. "Those," she said, "are actually quite useful." I creased up at that - it's the sort of thing that young kids hear their parents say, and then make their own. Other particularly well-observed moments include the telling-off the family get when Iggy and Flo wear their Heelies in a museum. Iggy's cheeks burn, Flo worries, mum and dad say it'll be alright and act suitably sheepish - but they also know when to have the right sort of twinkle in their eyes.

Joe Berger's illustrations blend perfectly with the text, breaking things up a little for any reluctant readers, but never dominating the proceedings. Iggy, in particular, looks exactly as you'd expect her to look: the slightly scruffy hair of a bit of a scamp, the tongue poking out as she puts on her busy face as she writes a list.

Although it's aimed at children Iggy's age, those as old as Flo, or even a little older, will also lap up Iggy and Me and the Happy Birthday. The quality is such that it works just as well as a quick and light read for slightly older readers. In fact, this reviewer, who's an awful lot older than Iggy and Flo, can't wait for more of their adventures, because of the warm glow they fill him with. Highly highly recommended.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Tell Me About It! (Ruby Rogers) by Sue Limb strikes a similar tone to Iggy and Me. You'll also love The Exiles by Hilary McKay. Iggy and Flo's third outing is also highly recommended.

Booklists.jpg Iggy and Me and the Happy Birthday by Jenny Valentine is in the Bookbag's Christmas Gift Recommendations 2010.
Buy Iggy and Me and the Happy Birthday by Jenny Valentine at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Iggy and Me and the Happy Birthday by Jenny Valentine at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Iggy and Me and the Happy Birthday by Jenny Valentine at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Iggy and Me and the Happy Birthday by Jenny Valentine at Amazon.com.


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