Just One More was put together by Gecko Press in 2011, and comprises Joy Cowley’s best short stories for children, mainly from educational publications such as the School Journal. It is one of the best books for children that I have had the joy of reading aloud to my 3-year-old.
This collection stories has witty takes on monsters, pirates, cowboys, trolls, grumpysauruses, and dragons. There is a grumpy king who steals smiles, and a tiger who eats cakes. The dragon lives in a library because he likes to read about his kin. There is even a ‘Gonna bird’ who reminds me of several people I know.
We are voracious book lovers in our household, but only the best books stand the test of time (ie. Beyond the week-long excitement of a new book) – and Dan has been asking for at least ‘one more’ from this book for two months solid, every single sleep time. He loves choosing his own, which he can do thanks to the images on the slipcover relating to each individual story – thank you illustrator Gavin Bishop and designer Spencer Levine. Dan is quite sensitive, but faces his fears as he listens to stories about monsters and trolls, and well, that tiger.
The other important part of a book of short stories for young children is the length of the stories. As anybody with young children knows, if you are reading five stories a night, you have to be wily about how you let them select them or you can be there for hours. These stories are a perfect length to be read aloud, or for young readers to read to themselves. They are also as enjoyable to read as an adult, as they seem to be for Dan to hear.
I am so proud that we have storytellers and illustrators the calibre of Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop in New Zealand. It also bears mentioning that this collection was beautifully published and edited by Gekco Press. We are very lucky.
Reviewed and recommended for anybody, by Sarah Forster
Just One More
by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Gavin Bishop
Published by Gecko Press
ISBN 9781877467868 (HB)