The Big Adventure of the Smalls by Helen Stephens

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The Big Adventure of the Smalls by Helen Stephens

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Kerry King
Reviewed by Kerry King
Summary: It's the night of the Small Hall Grand Ball and everyone's getting ready. All except for Paul and Sally Small, who are too little to enjoy the fun. But when Paul's friend, Mr Puddles, goes missing the only thing to do is sneak into the party in search of his beloved bear...
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: March 2012
Publisher: Egmont Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1405254205

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Paul and Sally Small live in Small Hall; except Small Hall isn't very small… It's HUGE! On one especially special night – the night of the Small Hall Grand Ball – Paul and Sally Small are having a peek at the guests arriving, when disaster strikes! Paul's beloved bear, Mr Puddles, falls through the banisters and into the throng.

There is nothing left to do but go and rescue him and so Paul and Sally, accompanied by their dog, Lady Pom-Pom, sneak downstairs for what turns out to be a great big adventure to try to find him.

We've had the joy of this wonderful, fabulous book for a couple of weeks now and it's such a hit that I and my four year old almost know it word for word. If I had to select a single reason for the success of The Big Adventure of The Smalls I would have to say the winning formula lies within the basic premise; very simply losing your teddy through the banisters and heading into forbidden post-bedtime territory – it is just so relate-able (not the part about living in a stately home; I'm not sure many of us fall within that scenario).

I mean, the majority of pre-schoolers have seen their parents getting ready for a night out (and if you are lucky enough to live in Small Hall, a night in is apparently the same as a night out!), or heard guests arriving and wished they could join in; some even look for just about any excuse (fact or fiction) to do so, that Paul and Sally's great big adventure connects with them on a level that we, as adults, have long forgotten.

So we've read it a lot. A LOT; and when I asked my 4 year old what she liked about it best, she immediately said the page that folds out really big in the middle. And so a big hurrah for the fold out flaps and at the risk of repeating myself, no pre-schoolers' book should be without at least one! Fold out flaps rock! We also loved the idea of a tiny, secret door in the wall that leads to a secret passage, which is a segment of the story that we whisper as if that too were a secret.

With gorgeous, sketch-paddish, bright and lively Quentin Blake-esque illustrations (which I understand are all done by the author) and a delightful punch line at the end, I cannot begin to tell you how much I recommend you buy this book. As with all pre-school age books, we parents always scout through the pages to make sure there is nothing scary or inexplicable and The Smalls passes with flying colours (where many others have failed and which sit at the dusty top of the wardrobe until such time as they are no longer terrifying!) and is one of the best bedtime reads we've had for months.

For further reading I'm going with the flaps: Don't Invite Dinosaurs To Dinner by Neil Griffiths and Peggy Collins and perhaps Rumblewick and the Dinner Dragons (The Rumblewick Letters) by Hiawyn Oram and Sarah Warburton.

Last but by no means least, a big thank you to the kind ladies and gentlemen at Egmont Books for sending this copy to Bookbag for review.

Buy The Big Adventure of the Smalls by Helen Stephens at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Big Adventure of the Smalls by Helen Stephens at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Big Adventure of the Smalls by Helen Stephens at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Big Adventure of the Smalls by Helen Stephens at Amazon.com.


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