Happy Hooves Ta-Dah!
Written by Anna Bogie
Illustrated by Rebecca Elliott
Published by Fat Fox Books
New publishers on the block Fat Fox Books look like a publisher to keep a very close eye on. Though they're starting out small with a couple of titles releasing in September ("Happy Hooves Ta-Dah!" and "Prankenstein") they have an eye for entertaining stories and characters, and high production quality.
They've also got a keen eye for talent too, and one of our favourite author illustrators, Rebecca ("Sometimes", "Zoo Girl" and "Just Because") Elliott, has contributed illustrations to "Happy Hooves Ta-Dah!"
Along with Anna Bogie, creator of a range of animal characters who will go on to star in more stories in the Fat Fox Range, "Happy Hooves" is the first tale and it's an empowering story of friendship, believing in yourself and your abilities, and using teamwork to overcome adversity.
Donkey is a bouncy happy type, and on a bright summer's day he wants to go to the beach. Along with his friends sheep, pig, cow and foal, he can't wait to play in the sand and take a dip in the sea.
There is one slight problem though. Between the animals and the gorgeous beach is a cattle grid.
Now, to an energetic bouncy donkey a cattle grid poses no problem, but the other animals are nervous - and just can't see how they can overcome this annoying obstacle. But with the right amount of enthusiasm and encouragement from their friends, each animal takes a leap of faith - and one by one they get across - all except poor cow, who is well and truly stranded.
How will the friends help cow across the grate? We'll leave that little bit of the story for you to discover. Charlotte loved this story despite it being aimed squarely at younger readers, thanks in no small part to Anna Bogie's gift of using repetition and positive language to tell an entertaining story, with Rebecca's awesome collage illustrations to make a bold and colourful canvas to create a story on.
Charlotte has just begun to read stories like this to her new little cousin, who is only a couple of months old (It's actually quite something to see her doing this, it seems like only yesterday she was wriggling on her playmat while I read stories to her, and now she's passing that on to her little cousin in such a lovely way!) No doubt we'll be taking "Happy Hooves Ta-Da!" along with us next time we visit.
"Happy Hooves Ta-Dah!" published on Sept 1st 2014 (yesterday). You can find out more about the Fat Fox range on their website.
Charlotte's best bit: Her favourite animal was sheep, who had a really neat way of getting over that cattle grid! We approve!
Daddy's Favourite bit: Bright, colourful, full of positive messages and a superb cast of animal characters. A great start for Fat Fox!
(Kindly sent to us for review by Fat Fox Books)