Illustrator: Emily Gravett
Published by: Macmillan Children’s Books 2010
Age: 2 – 6 years
Themes: fear, trust, art, restless, sleeplessness
Opening Lines: Cave Baby’s lucky – he lives inside a cave with his mum (who’s good at painting) and his dad (who’s very brave) And a sabre-toothed tiger, and a hyena and a hare and a grey woolly mammoth, and a big brown bear.
Synopsis: A cute little Cave baby is worried he is going to be thrown to a big brown bear, after painting over the walls and pictures in his parents cave walls. A hairy mammoth takes the cheeky little baby on a thrilling ride through a moonlit landscape with a tiger, leaping hare, a laughing hyena and possibly a big brown bear.
But where are they going? And what has it to do with the baby’s scribblings on the cave wall? You will have to read it to find out.
Why I like it: I love books that beg to be opened, that have illustrations with such expression, that are cute, funny, bright, interesting and artistic. This is one of them. Emily Gravett’s full page pencilled drawing over paint give the little Cave baby such expression right down to his little leafed nappy and bare feet. The illustrations certainly move the story along with it’s soft dark night colours giving the close feeling of the animals of the jungle, to the bright, clean light of day where we view the mess that has been made. Julia’s beautiful rhyming text is minimal and often ambles through the illustrations so as not to detract the eye from the big picture.
Emily Gravett is a twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal. Julia Donaldson is a mult-award winner and popular picture book writer. Originally writing songs for television, it wasn’t till one of her songs was turned into a children’s book that she turned to writing for children. Of her 184 published works, 64 are widely available in bookshops. The remaining 120 are intended for school use and include her Songbirds phonic reading scheme which is part of the Oxford Reading Tree.
Resources/Findings: Here is Julia Donaldson’s website and as you can see she has also educational material….. http://www.juliadonaldson.co.uk/
Another link… http://www.cavebaby.co.uk/activities.html
Parental resources for tracking baby’s path… http://pathways.org/awareness/parents/developmental-milestones/monthly-milestones-and-activities-calendar?gclid=CKeu9Yb65bYCFUVZpQodtTQAgw
Watch Emily draw Cave Baby…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7hY4MgstiVg
For more books with resources please head on over and visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors