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An oldie but a goodie
Peepo! - Allan Ahlberg
Member Name: lights84
Peepo! - Allan Ahlberg
Advantages: Well written and illustrated
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.
Summary: One of the few that we would choose to replace.