Book Review: Simon Said and Other Cautionary Tales, by Pamela Allen

Available in bookshops nationwide.

cv_simon_said_and_other_cautionary_talesMost children know the game Simon Says, but this book puts a different spin on the game.

‘Simon said,
I am taller than you.’

And he was.

He can pull harder than you, jump higher than you, run faster than you, climb higher than you, throw a ball further than you, finally finishing with ’I can eat more than you.’  It does not end well!

The second story in this wonderfully funny book is ‘Simon Did’. This story also does not end well for Simon.

The third and fourth stories; Watch me, and Watch me Now have slightly better endings.

This is a fun book with wonderful illustrations and sitting down with 4- year–old granddaughter Quinn made this a great experience for both of us.  We were laughing our socks off at Simon’s antics and what we really shouldn’t do in life.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

Simon Said and Other Cautionary Tales
by Pamela Allen
Published by OneTree House
ISBN 9780995106499

Book Review: Who sank the Boat? and other stories: A Pamela Allen treasury

Available now in bookshops nationwide.

cv_who_sank_the_boat_and_other_storiesThis could be subtitled Pamela Allen: a treasure. Her books have delighted preschoolers, parents, early childhood educators and others for generations now. I remember the laughter from preschool groups at Brooklyn Library years ago, when they worked out who really sank the boat!

It turns out that I had missed several of these stories so it has been enchanting to discover the licorice-allsort-eating dog, the difficulties of having four baby siblings and feeling unwanted, like Cuthbert, the absolutely frightening Share, said the rooster, which has as nasty an ending as you’d want and certainly is a true cautionary tale.

There’s also that archetypal Kiwi happening – a duckling falls into a drain. Of course someone has to rescue it and reunite it with its mum, and of course it’s the policeman who comes to sort it out when everyone else fails. More of a social commentary on life in the 80s than just now, perhaps!

Through all the stories, Pamela Allen’s illustrations give life to the words; the characters spring out of the colourful drawings and make you want to keep reading so you can SEE the stories as well as hear them. They do really have the power to enchant and delight.

This would make a fabulous gift for littlies, but it will give the adult who reads to them just as much pleasure.

Reviewed by Sue Esterman

Who Sank the Boat? and other stories
by Pamela Allen
Published by Puffin
ISBN 9780143770329