10 Silly Children by Jon Lander

Values: Imagination, Creativity and Happiness.

I was very kindly sent this book by a friend and I love it! It is a fun, unique counting book for young children which promises giggles of delight throughout. In the story, Lander counts sensible children as they are doing things such as hanging out the washing or having a bath or reading stories. However, every page is a lift-the-flap sensation whereby underneath lie some children being very SILLY!

This playful book is great for teaching the numbers 1-10, but it also has a level of richness in the rhyming, repetitive language. It centres around this idea of sensible and silly behaviour, but I love the imagination and creativity that the children have in turning their sensible behaviours into something far more enjoyable!

I think the Values of imagination and creativity should be celebrated in homes and schools. Developing imaginative skills not only requires complex cognitive skills, but supports language, play, social skills and equips learners with the ability to think outside the box - surely all skills we want our children to have? Asking children what could be the MOST surprising thing to happen whilst they are brushing their teeth or what would make making their bed the most exciting activity in the world would prompt some hugely fun ideas I bet! I love the way Lander has captured the essence of storytelling and imaginative play in this book which is not only linguistically pleasing, but aesthetically too with the hidden pictures under the fold-out pages.

Another Value we often look at in schools in happiness or joy. How can you create your own happiness? How can you make something you don't particularly relish into something enjoyable? How can you bring a smile to someone else's face? Lander's understanding of many little children's love of all things disgusting is emphasised in some of the pages and, even as an adult reading this without a child present, you can picture the squeals as snot smoothies, toenail sandwiches and worm pie make an appearance on the dinner table. How silly!

There are a few more things that I think are clever about this book. The repetition of, "How silly!" lends itself to silly voices and brings a smile to the reader's face, complementing the content of the text and illustrations perfectly. Secondly, the children shown are diverse (ethnicity, ability/disability, age) and yet this is not a focus. The children are just enjoying being a part of the story. Thirdly, it was with trepidation I saw the page where the children were reading their books and thought that they were going to be replaced doing something much more 'fun'; however, Lander chooses to celebrate reading and under the flap... the children are carrying on reading rather than ripping pages out or leaving their stories forgotten! Brilliant.

This wonderful book will delight many families and classrooms over the coming years and will promote a love of reading, counting and imaginative talk. A great gift for Christmas!

Other books on the blog with these Values can be found by clicking the links:





You can find this book, published by Pavillion, in many bookshops. Try to shop in independent shops if you can! Jon Biddle constantly updates a map of such bookshops which can be found here.