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Martha B. Rabbit and the Fairies Cook - Shirley Barber

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Published: 1st August 2004 / Publisher: Five Mile Press

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      08.11.2012 16:40
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      A lovely childrens book

      When I was a child one of my favourite books was Martha B Rabbit The Fairies Cook by Shirley Barber, recently when my parents were digging out some of my old books for Jayden they came across this one and gave it to me to take home, I decided to give it to Jayden, it is not in anyway girly and is a lovely story for both girls and boys. Whilst Jayden is too young for this book really I decided to read it to him as it is not that long and the pictures are lovely so I just knew he would enjoy sitting and looking at these with me.

      Martha B Rabbit is a paperback book, it is quite tall and has a shiny front and back cover, the front cover the title of the book at the top written within a scroll and the author is written at the bottom of the front cover, again inside a scroll. In the centre of the book is a forest type picture with Martha B Rabbit and a Kitten (another character in the book) picking fruit with two pixies watching them, even the picture on the front cover is lovely, it has so much detail with bright colours to capture a child's attention. The back cover is just a plain light brown colour with a red border, it is covered with different coloured flowers and has a picture of a pixie sleeping on a leaf beside some flowers right in the middle of it. The inside cover repeats the title and author of the book written in the same old fashioned style writing as it appears on the front cover.

      Martha B Rabbit The Fairies Cook is about a little brown rabbit called Martha who lives at the foot of an apple tree, she has a perfect house and garden and loves to cook, she will happily give passing children and pixies something she has baked. The story begins by describing this idyllic screen and talks about how she gathers fruits and nuts to make things with and store to keep her going through the winter. It then goes on to talk about some robber rats who move into the forest and steal all of Martha's supplies, the rest of the story is about her trying to find work to replace her supplies, she is in luck when she is informed about a cooking job at the Gnomes Guest House cooking for all the fairies, in return she is paid with food, the book has an enjoyable happy ending.

      Whilst I have always like this story what I particularly like are the pictures, on each double page you have writing and a small picture on one side which often goes around the writing and a full page picture on the other side all of which reflect what is happening on that particular page.

      The pictures are very detailed and colourful giving your child so much to look at, on each picture there are two little pixies positioned as though they are watching what is going on in the scene described in the picture which I think is very cute.

      The writing in this book is also a bit different, it is a brown colour and written as though it has been written by hand, this fits in with the rustic style pictures of the forest and really makes everything blend in like it belongs.

      I'm not sure what age group this book is aimed as there is no information about this on the book, however the writing is quite large and despite being written in a handwriting rather than a print it is very clear and easy to read each word. I would say that this would be suitable for children who are already capable of reading quite well on their own rather than a book which could be used to teach children to read. However it is also ideal to sit down and read with your child as they will love listening to the story and looking at the pictures with you and discussing them.

      Obviously I have had my Martha B Rabbit The Fairies Cook book for a long while now probably around 20 years so I really have no idea where it came from or even how much it cost. Personally I have not really seen this book in book shops but I do know it is available online from sites such as Amazon where it is currently being sold for around £2.99, I was quite surprised at this as I really thought it would be a lot more expensive, however the price does vary depending on what site you purchase it from. I would definitely say it was worth the money as it is a lovely book for all children to read.

      Now I understand that Jayden is really too young for this book, however I have been reading to him on a regular basis recently which he really seems to enjoy, he loves sitting on the sofa with me whilst I read him a story and he sits and looks at the pictures and touches them, with this book he seemed fascinated by all the bright colours and sat touching the pictures as I read the story. Whilst he does not actually understand what he is doing it all helps him to absorb information and learn, in my opinion it is never to early to start reading with your baby to give them a good start.

      This book is very reasonably priced and in my opinion well worth the money, I always loved this book as a child and hope it becomes one of Jayden's favourites as well, it is deal for both girls and boys and is ideal to sit down and read with your child. I would highly recommend this to anyone.

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