Behaviour – Good and Bad

Evil Weasel
by Hannah Shaw
(Jonathan Cape)
Evil Weasel is a bully; cunning, sneaky, thoroughly nasty and, thanks to his mean tricks, unimaginably wealthy. But when he throws a party to brag about his ill-gotten gains, not a single guest turns up. ‘Why not?’ demands Evil Weasel as he visits the non-attenders one by one.    Confronted with a series of home truths, Evil Weasel is forced to face up to his bullying ways and the realisation that material wealth is worthless without friends. It’s a reformed character who welcomes his guests to celebrate his complete – well almost – transformation.
Thoroughly anarchic in style, print and presentation, not to mention the chief protagonist, this picture book will be a winner with young audiences. The new author/artist has used every square inch of the available space including the end papers and title page to tell and extend the story.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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Little Croc and Bird
by Tony Maddox
Despite Mummy and Daddy Crocs’ instructions to ‘play nicely’ without teasing the other animals, Little Croc is soon upsetting the hippos, zebras, monkeys and parrots in the jungle. Left to play on his own as a result, he suddenly feels lonely. It takes a small bird to show him that there’s more than one way of having fun and that good behaviour can be just as enjoyable as making mischief.
An amusing picture book with a lesson about behaviour for the youngest listeners.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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The No-No Bird
by Andrew Fusek Peters & Polly Peters, illustrated by Jim Copplestone
(Frances Lincoln)
The recalcitrant behaviour of a young bird is despaired of by his mother and would be friends. But when he narrowly escapes becoming the tasty meal of a wily, hungry snake, the No-No Bird is forced to think again about his words and deeds.
The bright, funny illustrations of this rhyming cautionary tale should help to make it a ‘Yes-Yes’ story for those going through that oppositional phase.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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Python goes to Playschool
Puma goes to Playschool
by Jeanne Willis and Mark Birchall
(Andersen Press)
When Puma and Python start playschool, they do what comes naturally – Puma bites and Python squeezes. But, equally naturally, the other young animals don’t appreciate being on the receiving end. The stories of how Puma and Python learn how to get along with the rest of the group are well told and witty. Both books are fun to read aloud and a good starting point for talking about what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour.
Ages 2 upwards.
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