Review Blog

Feb 18 2016

Alphonse, that is not ok to do by Daisy Hirst

cover image

Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406354317
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Families. Siblings. When Alphonse eats Natalie's book she is cross with him. He offers to mend her book, but she puts her fingers in her ears so she cannot hear him. They had been good friends, doing a lot of things together, naming birds they see out of the window, hearing stories, bouncing things off the bunk beds and making things together. So Alphonse is upset. Natalie goes to have a bath by herself, but while there she hears enormous noises. A tornado, screaming beasts and thousands of glass peas falling down from the sky seem to be happening outside the room. She becomes afraid for her brother and calls out to him, wrapping herself in a towel to go and investigate. She opens the door to find an appalling mess and he explains how the room came to be so untidy. All Natalie can think about is her brother and keenly asks if he is alright.
This is a charming tale of siblings not seeing eye to eye, of falling out over a possession that the other has destroyed. But when the possibility of something happening to her brother occurs she is the first to investigate and all is put back to normal, with the two getting along just as they did before. Children will love reading of the trouble between them and be soothed by the resolution of their problem. It is a situation many will have been in themselves, and so seeing it resolved will give them the skills to draw some lessons for their own situation. The block colour illustrations are charming, with expressions given by the simplest of lines.
Fran Knight

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