Book Review: The Roly-Poly Baby, by Catherine Foreman

Available in bookshops nationwide.

cv_the_roly-poly_babyCatherine Foreman has written a number of children’s books with her first one The Cat’s Pyjamas (2011) winning the Children’s Choice Award at the 2012 NZ Post Children’s Awards. She is also the author, illustrator and designer of the popular ‘Machines and Me’ series (Boats, Planes, Tractors, Trains) and the illustrator of Chris Gurney’s Madison Moon and the Hot-air Balloon. 

The roly-poly baby rolled on the floor. Then she rolled and she rolled and she rolled a bit more. She rolled under her grandfather’s chair, into the kitchen and finally out the back door.

I read this book to 15-month-old granddaughter Quinn. She was totally captivated by the illustrations and listened carefully to the story, grabbing the pages to turn over quickly to find out what happened next.

The illustrations are gorgeous, with the text tying in beautifully. If Quinn’s reaction was anything to go by I think we can consider this book a total success and one that would be a lovely addition to the growing pile of presents under the Christmas tree.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

The Roly-Poly Baby
by Catherine Foreman
Published by Scholastic NZ
ISBN 9781775433217

Book Review: Tractors, and Planes, by Catherine Foreman

Both of these books are available in bookstores now.

I was delighted to get these two new releasescv_planes from Scholastic NZ, both part of a new series called ‘Machines and me’. As a mother of two boys, I consider myself something of an expert on books about machines, and these did not fail to delight. Catherine Foreman won the Children’s Choice award for her book The Cat’s Pyjamas in the 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards, and she was a good choice for this series.

Catherine has written both books in an easy, smooth rhyme, which trips off the tongue when reading aloud, and is not in the least contrived. Each book has also got an aspirational ending, which makes them slightly different from other books of their ilk, as the child is encouraged to use his/her imagination actively.
Planes begins by explaining what a plane does in easy words, then describes different types of planes. Planes with stripes and planes with lips, and planes that even land on ships is my favourite line from this one. The illustrations are clear and obvious, reflecting exactly on the words, with just enough flourishes to keep it interesting for a toddler. My nearly-3-year-old adored this, and the backgrounds on each image kept him asking questions, which is fantastic.

I really enjoyed the illustrations in Tractors, with the Fred Dagg and Andy Capp-like characters driving their tractors with their hats pulled over their eyes. While Catherine’s technical skill isn’t good enough to pull off an interior view of a tractor, the character of the books as a whole carries over this factor.

Both books would lend themselves well to baby board books, as early introductory readers, and I am certain they will sell well into the international market. A great couple of books, recommended for ages 1-5.

Reviewed by Sarah Forster

by Catherine Foreman
Published by Scholastic NZ
ISBN 9781775431602

by Catherine Foreman
Published by Scholastic NZ
ISBN 9781775431619

Book review: The Cat’s Pyjamas by Catherine Foreman

This book is available in bookstores now and is a finalist in the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

As soon as I saw the cover my kids and I were drawn to the book. My 4 year old couldn’t wait to sit down and have a look at his new book.

I love how colourful this book is, but was a bit put off by how it was ‘the cat’ and not simply ‘cat’. For me I felt that it would have flowed better without the ‘the’, at least for the first page and the pages where we were told what pyjamas he was going to wear each night. Other than that it is a great book.

Nice and easy to read, with great rhymes, I had to watch myself to make sure that I didn’t read it too fast.

And there are so many pictures for each night, that half the joy from reading the book came from pointing out everything that we could see on the pages.

When it comes to my monster sensitive son, I felt that the ending did not suit him, and would have been better if Cat had stayed awake all night to scare the monsters away. But still, a fun book, and well worth a read even if just for the pictures.

An 8 out of 10 from me.

Reviewed by Miriam Matthews, Facebook fan and her son.

The Cat’s Pyjamas
by Catherine Foreman
(Scholastic New Zealand)
ISBN 9781869439798