Nits and grubby, cuddly toys aren't always the most welcome of things but they can feature in the lives of all children so it seems only right to put these two picture books together here - especially as both books show them from a different viewpoint.
There's Only One Scruffle - Written and Illustrated by Robert Dunn
When Mum attempts to replace Scruffle with a big, new bear that smell of strawberries, Ellie is less than impressed. Mum isn't happy when Ellie asks if the new bear can be kept in the bin, and wisely explains that Ellie should at least play with the new cuddly toy for a while as she "won't know what he's really like until you've spent a little time together."
Children will easily identify with Ellie and her favourite, much loved toy and this book will spark talking points for use in the classroom about children's own experiences. There are even suggested talking points at the end of the book to help with this.
Nat's Naughty Nits - written by Giles Andreae and Illustrated by Jess Mikhail
On the first page we are greeted by Nat, a friendly, if somewhat disheveled and grubby looking young boy, clutching a magnifying glass and a book about bugs. Nat is going into the garden and wants us to come and play with him. By contrast we can see Nat's sister, clean and fresh faced as she dances with a doll in one hand and a freshly picked flower in the other.
Nat's sister clearly doesn't have a care in the world, unlike Nat himself who, on the second page, has developed an itch. Nat quickly realises that he has got a nit and further inspection under his microscope reveals that his hair is full of them. If you aren't itching by this stage in the book, you soon will be. Giles Andreae and Jess Mikhail show us that nits don't just crawl around in your hair - to them your hair is a whole universe. There are nits playing chase and flying rockets into space. We see nits playing football, eating sweets, making pancakes and a whole host of things. Children will delight in seeing all of the things that nots get up to and will no doubt giggle at the thought of them playing kiss chase, sitting on the toilet and even seeing a shy looking "Nit[s] in the nuddy when there's no one else around."
Thankfully, Nat's Mum steps in "with her shampoo and her comb" and soon the nits have their bags packed and are heading home. But just where will they go?
Children will enjoy the simple rhyming text, bright illustrations and will certainly find lots to laugh at in this itch infested book.
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