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Peepo! - Allan Ahlberg

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Allan Ahlberg / Edition: New Ed / Board book / Reading Level: Ages 4-8 / 34 Pages / Book is published 1997-05-29 by Puffin Books

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      03.12.2012 03:12
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      One of the few that we would choose to replace.

      Peepo! by Janet and Alan Ahlberg was one of my favourite books when I was a young girl, and it's one of my daughter's favourite books now. As a little girl I loved the rhyming tale, the colourful pictures with all the hidden happenings in them, and the way the story gathers pace as each person peeps at the person on the next page.. My daughter is almost 18 months old and is too little to appreciate all of these things, but she does enjoy the steady rhyme of the story and she loves the game of peepo that the book inspires.

      Each cardboard page has a circular hole in it that shows the person on the next page, and as each page is turned, who the person is and what s/he is doing is revealed to the reader. My daughter likes to point at the person through the hole and then turn the page, which also shows who was doing the peeping on the previous page.

      Although my baby's life doesn't really correspond with the baby's in the book, eg my daughter co-sleeps but the baby in the book sleeps in a cot, and so on, I know that as she grows older she will be fascinated with the way of life shown in the book, and will hopefully enjoy the strange attire of a baby from 'the olden days' and what she got upto on a daily basis. In some ways this books points to the old adage of baby's being seen and not heard, as the baby in the book is often 'out of the way' and therefore watching other people do their chores and so on. But I actually really like this about the book; that the baby is observant and enjoys watching the world around him, instead of watching a TV or a similar modern activity.

      But what is best about this book, and what makes it appealing to children even younger than my daughter - I know because she has enjoyed this book for many months now - is the whole PEEPO! aspect of it. As each page is turned, as we peep at the person on the next page, we shout PEEPO! together, and my daughter loves this. Well, she can't say 'peepo' yet, but she can say 'pee!' and she knows that this is the 'pee!' book as she often chooses it off the bookshelf and runs over shouting 'pee! pee!', which can be very amusing when we have guests..

      What I love about this book as a parent is how it doesn't assume that a child needs glaring bright colours to enjoy something, and it has lovely rhyme and a real story to it, as well as brilliant attention to details in the illustrations. I recall looking at them for hours when I was little.

      If you have little ones and are looking for an engaging gift, then I highly recommend this 'oldie but goodie'. We have a much-read, highly-valued copy on our bookshelf, and if it ever gets too worn with all the bumps and reads, it will be one of the few that we choose to replace.

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        10.05.2010 10:47
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        An appealing book for children, parents and grandparents

        This was my daughter's favourite book as a toddler, and was her final book before bedtime for probably about a year. I ended up learning it off by heart and would often be found reciting it at three in the morning to get her back to sleep.

        Peepo follows a baby's day from waking up, through breakfast time, a walk in the park, bathtime and lots more right until he's fast asleep in his cot at the end of the day. We are allowed to peep on each of these scenes through a hole in the previous page, which is a great delight for curious toddlers.

        Allan Ahlberg is one of our very best children's authors and this is one f his classics. There is a beautiful rhyme and strong rhythm throughout, as Ahlberg describes what you see in each picture, what all the other members of the family are doing. The distinctive pictures of Ahlberg's late wife, Janet tell more of a story, appealing to parents and grandparents. The artwork places this book firmly during the second world war and each picture is just crammed with period detail, there are barage balloons and gas masks to spot. There are buckets of coal and mum wears a hairnet. Poignantly, the dad wears an army uniform at the end, so we can assume he is going back to fight.

        A lovely book, that is a great draw for toddlers and adults.

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          30.11.2009 20:37
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          A lovely book to share with young children

          My little boy (19 months) loves this book!

          Overall this book is a classic for children. It follows the familiar rhyming style of the Ahlbergs and many other childrens books which makes it very easy for adults to read and enables young children to join in with the 'reading'.

          The book is set during the second world war and folllows a day in the life of a baby. The baby lives in a terraced house in London with mum, dad, gran and his two sisters. The illustrations are very detailed and enable older children to look at the inside of a war time house.

          The story starts in the morning with baby waking up and continues throughout the day until baby goes to bed.

          There are holes in the book which peep onto the next part of the story and your child can join in with the word 'Peepo!'

          My boy likes looking and naming items he can see in the pictures and joining in with Peepo.

          I would definately recommend it from the age of 16 months onwards. Older children can enjoy the book for it's historical interest.

          Available from all good book shops. I got mine in Waterstones.

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            05.08.2009 19:53
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            A great book for little children

            Peepo! is a fabulous children's picture book written by Janet and Allan Ahlberg as far back as 1981 although the illustrations depict a much further bygone age. The book really does provide a lovely nostalgic look at days gone by and both of my daughters love reading it and taking in the pictures.

            The story follows one day in the life of a small baby. It is actually very clever as it shows the events through the eyes of that child, particularly through the use of 'peepo' holes. At the start of the book, the baby is standing in his cot and the text reads:

            Here's a little baby
            One, two, three
            Stands in his cot
            What does he see?

            On the opposite page there is a small round hole with the word PEEPO! below. Through the hole we can just see the baby's daddy sleeping. When you turn over the page though, you see the full extent of the bedroom with both Mum and Dad sleeping and the tesx going into the detail of what he sees - dad sleeping in a big brass bed, Mum wearing a hair net, shadows on the wall and his teddy and his ball. This description helps children to pick out these things as well as spotting lots more things too. However, if you look back to the page you have just turned over, in the middle of all the writing, there is still the peepo hole and this time we see the baby standing in his bed.

            Each set of pages follow the same format. First we see the baby - maybe in his highchair or pram or sitting on his blanket. He is always in a different location and we get a very similar rhyme each time asking what he sees. There is also the peepo hole giving a bit of a clue as to where they are - this makes a good guessing time the first few times you read - and then you turn over the page to take in the full scene with a lovely written description too. By the end of the story, the little baby boy is back in his bed and is dreaming of all he has seen throughout his busy day!

            This is a really well crafted book which both my daughters adore. They love the descriptions and literally pour over all the many things to be found in all the different illustrations. Also, as the book is written in rhyme it has a good rhythm and is also good for developing early phonological awareness skills. The repetition and the rhyme also means that before long young children will be able to start joining in with the reading.

            I love the fact that this is an old fashioned book with very old fashioned illustrations. There is a suggestion that it is set in war time because by the sleeping dad there is a soldier's uniform. There are lots of other fascinating details too like mum wearing a hairnet, Dad carrying in the coal for the fire and the baby bathing in a tin bath in front of the fire. It really is a glimpse into a different age. It does make you wonder what this book would be like were it to be modernised but I sort of feel that it would not be so effective somehow.

            On Amazon Peepo! Is either available as a board nook for £4.49 or as a paperback for £3.99. We definitely recommend taking a peep at this book!

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              04.08.2009 21:36
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              A real asset to any childs library and enjoyable for the parents to read too - bonus!

              This gem of a childrens book is a 15 page classic! I remember reading it as a child and when I saw it in a local charity shop for 50p I just had to buy it for my daughter to enjoy too.

              It is written and illustrated by the Ahlbergs (Janet and Allan) who have written many other childrens books but this one is so much more. It was first published in the early 80's and charts the typical day of a baby in the 1940's through simple rhyming text and wonderfully detailed pictures.

              Each section starts with a description of where baby is and follows the pattern of:
              'Here's a little baby, 1 2 3, stands in his cot, what does he see?'
              On the adjoining page there is the word PEEPO written in bold text underneath a hole cut into the page so you can catch a glimpse of what baby's looking at.
              When you turn the page there is a full sized picture accompanied by 8 line rhyming text that describes what can be seen.
              This is repeated 7 times each instance describing a different aspect of baby's day from waking, eating, family life, playing, bath time to bedtime.

              It is a fantastic book because it appeals to children of varying ages. Younger children will enjoy the rhymic nature of the rhyming text and when they get a little bit older they'll be able to answer the question 'what can baby see' themselves by describing the pictures. They are so detailed that my daughter and I can spend half and hour plus reading this book because there are some fascinating things included in the pictures and I'll ask her to show me or find certain things.

              It is set in the 1940's and the Ahlbergs have really done their research and included as much authenticity as they can from an extended family being pictured, with grandma living with the family to the art deco fireplaces and clocks, along with dads army uniform and the outdoor toilet and tin bath in front of the fire! It provides a history lesson and reminds us as parents whats really important in a babys life, back to the good old days of family time and outdoor play, you wont see one expensive toy or gadget in this book!

              So many books today rely to much on illustrations and sacrifice good writing, maybe they think that children dont care but this book really covers all bases and I never tire of reading it (which is good as it's been my daughters choice at bedtime for about a week now!) It's lovely because she remembers the rhyme at the beginning so recites this and then just talks about things in the pictures so even when Im not reading it to her its helping with her observational and conversational skills.

              The IBSN number for this product is 0-14-050384-6 and is now available in soft back or in more durable board books.
              Amazon, red house and the usual suppliers are selling this book for around the £4 mark which I still think is good but you can get it cheaper by looking on e-bay or the other used book sites and still get a very good condition book for even more of a bargain!

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                13.06.2009 16:22
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                A lovely old fashioned book with a nice simple story to enjoy with your child.

                A charming story of a baby's daily activities and that of his family set in war time Britain. The story has a rhyme which is repeated on each page and a little hole giving a glimpse of what is happening next which is then fully revealed when the page is turned. The rhyming element of the book is enjoyed by my little girl and also she likes to peep through the hole at me and also at other objects around the room as well as the book itself. The illustrations are lovely - really detailed and faithful to the time of the 1940s - these will likely appeal more to the adult than the child if truth be told. What I like best about this book is that it's a simple story about a little baby in a "normal" family setting doing the types of things that all babies do. It's nice contrast to a lot of other books out there about whacky animals and people doing amazing things.

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                  23.01.2009 22:45
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                  A timeless classic for children from 2 -80!

                  Peepo! By Janet and Alan Alberg.

                  Janet and Allan Ahlberg are the creators of loads of popular children's books. I have many of their titles which include 'The Jolly Postman' and 'Each peach Pear Plum'. They were a husband and wife team and they worked together for 20 years until Janet died of cancer in 1994. Allan wrote the books, and Janet illustrated them.

                  This review is for one of their titles that is aimed at younger children - PEEPO!

                  This is not only a lovely story, but the illustrations are fantastic. You could spend hours looking at the detail searching for new things every time. It is based on the classic game that parents play with their babies - PEEPO!

                  The first page has an illustration of a baby standing up in a cot. The words read ....
                  Here's a little baby,
                  One, two, three
                  Stands in his cot
                  What does he see?

                  With the help of strategically placed holes on the page the reader of this wonderful book can see exactly what the baby sees, at various stages through the day: his father sleeping, his mother making breakfast, his sisters out playing. Underneath each hole are the words PEEPO! As you turn the page, the whole scene is revealed.

                  The simple story, following the babies day, is told in rhymng verse, which is great for younger children. They may be able to predict which word might finish the rhyme. There is lots of repitition throughout the book, which is far from being boring - This all helps with children with their pre reading and writing skills.

                  Apparently Peepo! is actually based on Allan Ahlberg's memories of his own childhood and the illustrations depict family life not in the modern day but from the 1940's / 1950's. There is so much to see and it is a great talking point. In fact I am using this book in my class at the moment with our topic on Britain since the 1930's. The kids have loved looking at the pictures and comparing life for children then with their own lives today.

                  This book creates great opportunity for talking between adults and children / parent and child. It demands a response - What can you see? Children need these opportunities to further their development. It's not just a lovely book but a useful tool for child development. So many children are just sat in front of the TV and left to their own devices. Just five minutes with a book like this (or half an hour!) is invaluable.

                  This is not a new book, it was first published in 1981 but it has a timeless appeal. So whether you're a teacher looking for ideas to support your history projects or a parent who wants to encourage their child to talk this is a great little book.

                  The RRP is £5.99 but you can get it on Amazon at the moment for £4.49.

                  I think you can also buy a board version of the book.

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                    22.11.2008 08:13
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                    A perfect story for bedtime which children can join in with

                    I bought Peepo when my little girl was born, bearing in mind she is now nearly four it was probably a bit premature. She has only shown an interest in it in the past few months. Now it is one of her favourite books though and we have to read it almost every night! The book is written by well known children's illustrator and writer Janet and Allan Ahlberg and catalogues the events in the day of a baby. This is accompanied by round holes in the book which encourage the reader and child to look for the baby, hence the Peepo of the title. The book is all written in rhyme so you have to get the rhythm right when you read it but it is a delight to read and children love joining in and shouting Peepo!!!
                    I love the illustrations, each picture on each page is so full of detail that every time you read it you spot something new. It is set in the forties so there is a real feel to each picture, Dad dressed up as a soldier, washing the baby in a tin bath in front of the fire. Apparently the baby is based on Allan Ahlberg himself and beautifully drawn by his wife, who sadly passed away in the nineties.
                    This book is a bargain and is usually found for under a fiver, it is a pleasure to read and kids love it!

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                      16.11.2008 23:10
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                      Overall a lovely little book for you and your child to read together.

                      Peepo is a lovely children's book written by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. You can buy Peepo on Amazon. The price varies if you want it in paper back then it will cost £3.59 or if you want it as a board book it's £4.99.

                      Janet and Allan Ahlberg have written lots of other great children's books including:
                      Each Peach Pear Plum
                      The Jolly Postman (One of my favourites)
                      Ten in a bed
                      The Giant baby

                      All the books they write are brilliant and my daughters love them. Peepo is one of there favourite. I remembered this book from when I was younger and I loved it, so as soon as I had my daughters I went out and brought it.

                      On the front of the book it has a little baby sat up in his Pram a simple but great picture.

                      The book starts with a baby stood in his cot and underneath the rhyme:
                      Here's a little baby
                      One, two three
                      Stands in his cot
                      What does he see?

                      Then on the right hand of the book there is a circle cut out and underneath it says PEEPO! So you instantly look through the circle and see his dad in bed you can imagine the baby peering through the small gap. When you turn over the page he tells you what else he sees in the bedroom and the words are made to rhyme. Then when you turn the page again the baby is sat in another place looking through the hole at something else. Then you hear the rhyme again: Here's a little baby......
                      It then explains what he sees in the next room and place. This repeats through the book it as if he is being moved in different places and surroundings he sees his Mum in the kitchen cooking, his Sisters in the garden, his Sisters fishing at the park. His Grandma ironing, his father kneeling down, then he can see himself in the mirror and it ends with him falling asleep in his cot.

                      I think the book is great as you can really picture the baby sitting in the places i.e. in the push chair, high chair, on a blanket at the park etc. Looking around at everything. The rhyme is really catchy and after a while my daughters joined in and learnt the words. We have the board book version so the pages are easy to turn, I find when they turn the pages they put there fingers through the hole to grab hold of the page. If this was paper back then it would rip but being board it works well. The illustrations in the book are really good a lot of detail and thought has gone into them. Each picture looks really busy and realistic for example when they drew the bedroom they didn't just draw the bed they drew all the mess around it. A great thought out book and I really recommend it.

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                      04.08.2008 20:49
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                      A lovely book for adults, not so good for babies I don't think!

                      I was looking forward to reading Peepo! to my granddaughter because she'd loved the authors other book, The Baby's Catalogue. I read Peepo! myself because she was asleep when it was delivered and I found it a charming and beautifully illustrated, I couldn't wait for her to wake up so I could show it to her.

                      What a let down though. I pulled my granddaughter onto my lap once she'd woken up and started reading the book to her, by the time we got to the fourth page she was wriggling to get down and wouldn't interact with the story at all. She's 13 months old and I thought she'd enjoy the die-cut peep holes which show a snippet of the drawing on the next page but she didn't show very much interest compared to other peep hole books she has.

                      The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous but they are all very pale in colour as if they have been drawn in pastels rather than the bright and cheerful colours that work best in books for young babies. The story is a rhyming tale of a baby's day in the 1940's and he gets up, has breakfast, rides around the park in his pram and generally has a lovely time while World War 2 rages on in the background. I found it quite touching when baby's Daddy comes in dressed in his soldiers uniform to give him a kiss, it's a moving part of the book and I thought about all the Daddy's of the war who would kiss their baby and go off to face who knows what horrors.

                      My granddaughter, of course, did not understand any of this and all she could see was the dull drawings so she went off to play with her toys and other books. It's a shame really but I cannot say I blame her as there is little on each page to really hold her interest, I found it nostalgic and interesting to look through the book but it's not fun for young babies like the other Allan Ahlberg books I've seen.

                      The text in Peepo! is a lovely flowing poem which my granddaughter will listen to for a few minutes, but even when I sing it she doesn't really want to sit still to listen to 30 pages worth of it. I think if the pictures were more attractive and exciting to look at then she would have shown more interest in the story but visually this book just isn't exciting enough for her to enjoy. All of the text is simple so an older child who is just learning to read would be able to follow the words and the added advantage is that because it's a rhyming book the story can be learned parrot fashion and then applied once your child is reading alone.

                      My copy of Peepo! is a board book but it's also available in paperback. The board pages are thick and glossy meaning my granddaughter can hold the book comfortably herself, and also the pages are very durable and will wipe clean with a baby wipe. You can buy a copy for £4.24 from Amazon, although I won mine from Ebay and it cost just £1.99 with postage which I think is a decent price but I would not have wanted to pay any more for it as my granddaughter just hasn't been interested enough.

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                        29.01.2007 18:27
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                        A lovely children's book that has stood the test of time!

                        My 'Peepo' book has been enjoyed by 3 - 7 year olds for different reasons.

                        It's another great book by the Ahlbergs who rarely fail to grip the attention of children of different ages.

                        ~The Story ~

                        It begins with a baby in his cot:
                        'Here's a little baby, 1, 2, 3. Stands in his cot, what does he see?'

                        PEEPO!

                        'He sees his father sleeping in the big brass bed and his mother too with a hairnet on her head.'

                        The story continues with the rhyme 1,2,3 what does he see? With the answer very cleverly written in rhyme of what the baby can see when in the kitchen, in the park, the living room etc....

                        It ends with:
                        'Here's a little baby, 1, 2, 3. Fast asleep and dreaming, what did he see?'

                        This then gives you the opportunity to recall what the baby saw and sequence the events in his and his family's day.

                        ~The format and illustrations ~

                        Peepo is a peek-a-boo book with a difference..........by means of strategically placed holes, the reader sees a small sample of what the baby in the story sees through various stages of his day, e.g. his parent's bed from his cot, the hustle and bustle of the kitchen from his highchair etc..... When the adjacent page is turned the full acitivities within the kitchen, the backyard etc are seen.

                        The illustrations are extremely detailed....they are said to be based on Janet and Allan Ahlberg's childhood so features like a range in the kitchen, coal being brought in for the fire, old-fashioned toys are depicted.

                        In short, the illustrations represent Janet Ahlberg's fine talents at their best!! Children can talk for ages about them, spotting different things on each page at different readings!

                        ~Educational value~
                        The vast majority of the Ahlberg's books have an educational value, but this one is full of learning opportunities:

                        Obviously the fostering of the 'love' of books in young children is paramount.

                        Peepo, enables children to identify rhyme and the repetitive texts encourages them to join in with the 'chant' thereby developing their memory skills.

                        I have also used this book with Year 2 children when studying homes and the changes within them since WW2. This book is full of comparisons between the homes of today and those in the past. Interestingly the major thing that the older children noticed was the absence of a television!

                        ~Prices~

                        www.amazon.co.uk have some bargains on offer as of January 2007
                        Paperbacks used and new from 1p
                        Hardcovers used and new from 93p

                        I have the paperback Puffin publication
                        ISBN: 0-14-050384-6 but I know that it has also been published by Viking Kestrel Publications.

                        ~ About the Ahlbergs~
                        Janet and Allan met in the 60s when they were both training to be teachers. Allan taught for 10 years, whilst Janet left teaching to develop her artistic ability to study graphic design.

                        When Janet died in 1994, Allan stopped writing for a while but has since written and I am sure that I have seen a book by him and illustrated by his daughter, Jessica.

                        ~Other books~
                        The list would become very tiresome if I were to write them all but here are a few you might want to take a peek-a-boo at!!
                        The Jolly Postman
                        Funnybones
                        Each peach pear plum
                        It was a dark and stormy night
                        Fee Fi Fo Fum
                        Burglar Bill


                        Peepo is a great book for adults and children, the rhythmic prose and excellent, detailed illustrations can't fail to appeal.

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                          26.04.2001 16:28
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                          'Peepo' is one of the most unusual babies books I have come across recently. This isn't because of the large spy holes cut into alternate pages, but the subject matter. It is all about a baby, but a baby from the 1940's. The world of infant board books is generally peopled by mice that wear dungarees, multicoloured elephants, dogs that drink orangeade through curly straws, and talking geese. In the midst of this fictional menagerie sits this plump, contented 1940's baby, wearing sensible knitted nighties, and enjoying a nice day out in the park. My own baby loves this book. Together we've spent many hours in the company of this happy chap, as he wakes up, has breakfast, sits in the backyard, goes to the park, sits on his sister's lap, has a bath, and goes to bed. This last one makes it an ideal bedtime read. I'll give you an idea of how the book works. It starts with a picture of baby in his nightie, as he wakes up: "Here's a little baby One, two, three Stands in his cot What does he see?" The opposite page has a hole cut in it, through which we see Dad, asleep in bed: "PEEPO!" Turn this page and the full illustration is revealed - Mum is there too, with lots of other interesting things around to spot - a duck on the floor, a woolly pink rabbit on the dresser, socks hanging over the old-fashioned bedposts, and much, much more: "He sees his father sleeping In the big brass bed And his mother too With a hairnet on her head. He sees the shadows moving On the bedroom wall And the sun at the window And his teddy And his ball." (extract from "Peepo" by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Penguin books 1981) And so this little baby's day continues. Each illustration is incredibly detailed. There are loads of interesting things going on, a different one to point out at each 'rea
                          d'. A mention must also go to the attention to period detail. It isn't just that Dad wears an army uniform, but all the little things are right. There is a picture of Churchill on the wall. All the toys are wooden. Mum's shoes are exactly to period. They've got a little veg patch in the backyard (and an outside loo). It may be the 'Peepo' aspect, coupled with the bouncy ryhme, that holds my one-year-old's attention, but it is the illustration that holds mine. And for the record, it's a nice sturdy board book that bears up well under the pressure of a happy one-year-old's ardent attention. There is another interesting thing about 'Peepo'. It shows just how, fundamentally, a babies life hasn't changed that much. You wake up, eat, go outside, eat, and go to bed. And the book shows you all those little (sometimes off-the-wall) things that babies seem to find so fascinating. Everything is drawn from the babies' perspective. 'Peepo' is a charming book. I love reading it to Ellie, and she loves reading it with me. It is one of those childrens books that gives off a sense of warmth and security. There is just one thing that makes me wonder. I don't really want to analyze this book because I enjoy it so much, but why is it set in the 1940's? I suppose because it shows such a traditional family unit. I don't think it matters really. I mean, if talking geese are the norm, then why worry about the reality of 'Peepo!'. It is just that I would really love to see a book as lovingly written and illustrated as this, follow the day of a modern baby. I mean, mine finds Tesco completely fascinating - I'd love to see an illustrator as skilled as Ahlberg show me the beauty of this, too.

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                        • Product Details

                          Follows a baby's daily routines and allows the reader, through a series of spy holes, to glimpse later stages of the child's day. This glossy, indestructible board book edition captures the essence of the original and takes even the smallest of children on a peek-a-boo journey through a day in the life of a baby and is ideal for teaching tiny children the joys of handling and sharing books.