Book review and giveaway: My Stinky New School

2 Aug

starting school

It’s that time of year again. The time when, amidst overturned boxes of toys and washed out camping holidays, parents’ thoughts start turning to September. If you’re a parent who is getting ready to send a little darling to school for the first time then you are probably oscillating between dread and joy. Perhaps you’ve passed through denial and are looking for ways to ease the transition. For me, as with solving so many things in life, that means turning to books.

We’ve read about Topsy and Tim’s and Maisie’s first days at school countless times now, so it was a delight to be asked to review something new. My Stinky New School by Rebecca Elliott introduces your child to the prospect of something potentially scary with humour and beautiful illustrations.

The book tells the story of Toby as he starts school and tackles worries about making new friends. According to Toby, his new school “stinks of pigeon poop, ogre armpits, and sadness”, yet he makes it through his first day thanks to a string of characters: spacemen, aliens, pirates, mermaids and dinosaurs. Throw in “astro poop” and bad smells and you have everything a 4-year-old loves.

At the end of the day, Toby claims not to have made any friends. Really? When my kids have done any activities without me, I ask “And did you talk to anyone?” and the answer is always “No”. Yet without fail, it eventually emerges that they did indeed make friends without realising. The same is true for Toby who, through sharing his wild imagination with other children, leaves on his first day with a wave to his troop of new pals. This bit does need some explaining to 4-year-olds (who tend to take things literally) but with a couple of reads they soon grasp the idea.

My Stinky New School is a lovely book to add to your arsenal of preparing-for-school-tools. Just make sure your child isn’t expecting there to be any real pirates at school. They’ll either be racing into their uniform several weeks too early or refusing to go without a cutlass.

My Stinky New School by Rebecca Elliott, Lion Children’s Books, hardback, £9.99. For more information visit the publisher’s website.

WIN!

I’m giving away a copy of My Stinky New School. To enter please scroll down and leave a comment telling me who you’d most like to meet – dead or alive, famous or infamous – who would it be?

The closing date for entries is noon on August 18th, 2015. Entries from the UK only. Only one entry per person. The winner will be chosen completely at random.

Disclosure: A big thanks to the publishers for giving me the opportunity to review the book and give away a copy.

5 Responses to “Book review and giveaway: My Stinky New School”

  1. Liz August 7, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    Ah I know the feeling. We’re ploughing our way through the ‘starting school’ books in a bid to make the transition smoother. I don’t know if it’s more for me or my daughter really…
    Speak to me on the first day back when I’ve dropped 2 kids off after the long long holiday and the euphoria starts to kick in.

  2. Mark August 11, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

    I asked Janet this same question last week. After a lot of thought she went with three of her friends? The same three she sees every other week anyway!?

    I would go with Freddie Mercury, if only because my 5yo is obsessed with him and keeps asking question even Google can’t answer.

  3. Elaine Livingstone August 12, 2015 at 7:23 am #

    love your write up on this, love hidden meanings to books where children are learning without realising there is a lesson being learnt.
    Sound like the sort of book Bob would have laughed at when he was younger, and probably would. #readwithme

  4. chantelle hazelden August 13, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

    this sounds like a fantastically helpful book, great fun for kids whilst teaching them some important lessons, thanks for sharing with #readwithme

  5. Crumbs & Pegs August 18, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

    Congrats Mark – you’re a winner! 🙂

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