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Bramble the Brave - Amber Stewart and Layn Marlow

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Genre: Junior Book / Author: Amber Stewart / Illustrator: Layn Marlow / Paperback / Publication Date: 2012 / Publisher: OUP Oxford

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      17.06.2012 20:35
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      A lovely picture book

      Bramble is a fearless little mole who loves adventures. She will lead her friend Twig everywhere and have great fun digging the deepest molehills that you could ever imagine. However, it is quite a different matter when it comes to trying new food as Bramble is not brave at all and will never even attempt to try anything different. Many parents and children will identify with this tricky situation and will want to know how Bramble eventually becomes a less fussy eater.

      Bramble and her friend Twig love adventures especially when it comes to digging very deep molehills. Bramble leads and Twig follows whether they are digging, wading through ponds, climbing or rolling down hills. You would think that this brave little mole would be prepared to try anything and she is. That is until it comes into food when she turns into the fussiest little mole imaginable. She won't eat pondweed soup because it is too slimy; four-leaf clover salads are too crunchy and she won't even try Mummy's hazelnut pie because she only likes berries. Her parents try to persuade her to try all of this lovely food but eventually they get fed up of making a fuss and just let Bramble eat berries for a whole week. At first, Bramble is delighted but soon her paws look as if they have been splashed with purple paint and her whiskers feel sticky all the time.

      At the end of the week, her friends, the bunnies, come to play and after a terrific time they settle down for tea. The others all have lots of food whereas Bramble only has her berries. Suddenly, these don't look quite so tempting and she wonders why she is so brave at other things but not when trying food. Maybe she could just try those cress sandwiches and a little of that pondweed soup. Of course, when she does she is pleasantly surprised by how good everything tastes which, of course, will come as no surprise to any parent.

      I think that this delightful story is a very good one to share with fussy eaters. As a parent, I find it so frustrating when my daughter will not even try new food. When I shared this book with her, she could recognise herself in Bramble and could also see how silly Bramble was. Whether it will lead her to becoming a less fussy eater remains to be seen but I live in hope!

      The story is very simply written with a good balance of text and illustrations. These illustrations are very appealing and make a great contribution to our overall enjoyment of the story as well as showing what an adorable little character Bramble is. The words and ideas are quite straightforward too which makes this an ideal book for reasonably confident readers to read by themselves as well for sharing with younger ones. My daughter certainly loved it and wants to read it time and again.

      This review has previously appeared under my name at www.thebookbag.co.uk

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