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This is a board book that originally came to my children from their grandmother, who either got it because she used to work for childrens services and got freebie bookstart books, or from a charity shop. I'm not sure which, but i do know that it is pretty hard to get your own copy of the book. A quick search on amazon shows me there are 3 used copies which are all £16. If it weren't such a funny and popular story with my two i might have been tempted to sell it. The book is a typical Nick Sharratt one. It is full of bright colours and amusing illustrations, I first came across Nick Sharratt because he illustrates books for other popular authors like Julia Donaldson, and he collaborated with her on the books 'Chocolate mousse for greedy goose', and 'Hippo has a hat.' There are 8 double page spreads in this book, which feature one or two sentences, so these are great for reading to a young toddler or for a slightly older child of 5/6 to read to themselves as they start learning to read. Most of the words will be very familiar to small children, although there are a couple of names in the book that might be more difficult ro read. The storyline is very simple. Ness the Nurse with the kind face has 10 plasters in her case. As different children go to see her with different injuries, her plasters all get used up. It is written with rhyming text, like my 2nd sentence in the above paragraph, and at the top of each picture with the child with the plaster on the body part, there is a visual at the top of the page which shows how many more plasters are remaining. This is a simple idea, but really clever. My sons nursery teacher told me that a lot of children can say the numbers 1-10, but it is completely abstract in their head, and it is important to keep counting groups of objects so they can associate a number with it and have a more concrete meaning. The only way to help them with this is to keep counting, and this book perfectly does that on 9 of the pages. Between the colourful images and the funny rhyming story, no child would even realise that they were learning, and it is certainly not a hardship for me to read this one again and again as it is enjoyable for us all.
My son has now not only decided he likes his reading books very much, but has also decided that he quite likes reading them himself also, though at this stage of his learning it is a work in progress! This being the case we are having to find books from the library that I would deem as the "baby books" due to many of the starter reader books there being the obligatory and chew resistant cardboard books, never the less the one I will now review is the best of the bunch. The book I will now review is - "Ouch!, I need a plaster!" by Nick Sharrat. This book in effect is aimed at the starter readers and also comes across as a counting book, or subtraction due to the subject of the story. The book starts with a very happy and smiley looking nurse, that has with her in her clinic a case containing 10 brightly covered plasters. Then on the next few pages are the children that come to her with different injuries that of course need a plaster as their treatment. There is - "Greg, who has cut his leg, Rose, who has bashed her nose, Jacinta, who has got a splinter.....etc", well you get the idea! There is even a page with a very sorry looking young man called Lee, who has more than one plaster from nurse Ness's case, my son liked him best as he is the closest character t himself, Connor always has a selection of cuts and bruises! Will nurse Ness use all the plasters in her case, or will she be able to retain some incase (god forbid!) the reader needs use of one? This is a lovely book that caught my son's creative side immediately! Not only was he getting into the rhyming part of the story, but also trying to work out his own rhymes and his own injuries! The text is bold, and not quite starter reader status, but Connor had a good go at it, struggling more with the names of the characters than the actual words themselves, but as there were not that many words anyway, he soon worked is way through it. The illustrations are just as you would expect of a book from Nick Sharrat (also responsible for another of our home favourite's, Elephant, Wellyphant!), bright, bold and extremely colourful, but just about on the right side of garish. The other part I liked of this book, and as I mentioned earlier about the counting part, is the ten plasters mentioned at the beginning of the book, are printed across the top of the page, and every time one of the plasters gets used on a patient, the amount is adjusted accordingly, so that added a new element to the story, with my son insisting on counting those also! Price wise this is available from www.amazon.co.uk for around £2.99, this is for the board book version. Thanks for reading x ISBN 978-0-439950-92-3