Tales From Percy's Park: After the Storm by Nick Butterworth

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Tales From Percy's Park: After the Storm by Nick Butterworth

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Beautiful illustrations, a lovely rescue story, and a magical fold out poster at the end all make this a wonderful story to share.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: January 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0007155156

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One day, after a particularly wild and windy evening, Percy the Park Keeper discovers on his check around the park that an old oak tree has fallen down in the storm. All of the animals who lived in the tree ask Percy to help them find a new home. He loads them up in his wheelbarrow and, after a bit of an adventure, they finally find a new place for Percy to rebuild their homes.

I really like the Percy the Park Keeper stories. They fit perfectly in that slot for picture books for older tots, those in the 3 to 6 years age range, who still want pictures with their bedtime story but need something a little more expansive than the simple one sentence per page books. The story is well written, with a noisy storm, the sadness of the loss of the animals' homes but the reassuring, optimistic smile on Percy's face. There's the fun of their exploration for a new home, and really my only quibble is how on earth Percy fits himself, all the animals and all his woodwork equipment into the wheelbarrow!

The illustrations are, of course, what really make the book so lovely. Percy has a wonderful welcoming feel to him. You feel that everything will be okay when he's around. The animals are humanised only by their expressions, and their ability to stand on two legs, since they otherwise look realistic. There's a lot of detail in the pictures, expressions to smile over and all the different little animals to spot. The colours are lovely, soft and autumnal, and there is the surprise at the end of the huge fold out poster which pictures the animals in their new home.

I've found that the Percy books don't work very well with tiny tots - you need a toddler willing to sit still for more than 30 seconds - but they're lovely enough to keep sharing even as children grow older. This one provides interesting talking points, about weather and storms (and you can discuss any fears children might have) and also, at the end, we see Percy holding a tiny acorn in his hand as he says he has one job left back at the hill where the old tree was. The book doesn't explain what he means, and I liked that it was left for us to discuss together what an acorn was, and what Percy was planning to do with it.

The addition of the beautiful poster at the back of the book makes this perfect as a gift book since it's something a little bit special. We spent a long time looking over the picture together, seeing where every one's new houses were and what they were doing, choosing where we would live if we were squirrels and so forth. You could probably take the poster out to hang on your wall if you wanted to, but I like to keep it in the book as it's a nice place to finish the story.

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

Further reading suggestion: There are other stories about Percy the Park Keeper, or you might like to try this one about a witch's cat.

Buy Tales From Percy's Park: After the Storm by Nick Butterworth at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tales From Percy's Park: After the Storm by Nick Butterworth at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Tales From Percy's Park: After the Storm by Nick Butterworth at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tales From Percy's Park: After the Storm by Nick Butterworth at Amazon.com.


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