Tag Archives: book blog

(Don’t) Do The Voices! – a blog post by author Alan Dapre

Back in 2013, my young daughter did not want me to put on any ‘voices’ when I read to her.

“Stop, Daddy – you don’t sound like you any more.”

“But that’s the point,” I’d say as she picked up a book. I’m not meant to sound like me. “What are we reading tonight?”

“Peppa Pig.”

It was called something like Peppa Pig’s Daddy Is Made To Look A Right Nugget Again. To save my sanity, I slipped in voices from the TV show.

My Mrs Rabbit was okay. My Madame Gazelle was spot on and I did an uncanny Daddy Pig – basically lots of booming and chuckling. My Peppa Pig was woeful though – wrong pitch and tone.

“I told you – don’t do the voices!” she said, sounding exactly like Peppa.

Well, that was about 5 years ago. Over the intervening time, I have gradually cajoled my book-loving daughter into joining in. A word, a phrase…a sentence. A page! After a while she grew to like my grumpy Mr Gum…

My bewitching Winnie the Witch…

Even my dodgy Scooby-Doo… ‘Sh-raggy!‘ 

These days (nights?) it isn’t so easy to get reading time together. I have deadlines or maybe my daughter’s gone to bed VERY late…. So I say goodnight and leave her reading quietly to herself.

Three. Two. One.

“Dad! I need you,” yells a plaintive voice when I am halfway down the stairs.

I go back up and pop my head around her door. “What do you want?” I know what’s coming.

“A story.” I get the tried & tested It’s just one story look. Works every time.

“Ok. Just one.”

“We have to read it all – and do the voices.” 

I nod and say, “Only if you turn the light out straight afterwards and don’t sneakily turn it on and read for an hour then complain you’re tired the next morning!”

“Okay, Dad. Sure thing. Pinkie promise.”

So nowadays we both take turns being the characters.
Such is life. You couldn’t make it up.

reading together, sharing books, do the voices, bedtime story

 

 

And if you do…

DO THE VOICES!

 

 

*****

Alan Dapré is the author of the popular Porridge the Tartan Cat series.

alan dapre,unfair funfair,prorridethetartancat,florisbooks,kelpies,junior fiction,gender neutral, boys and girls,girls and boys

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‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?’ reviewed by Alan Dapré

As a professional author, occasional illustrator and former primary teacher (oh, and current At-Home-Dad) I have come across many children’s picture books. I thought I would blog about the ones I like the best, giving reasons why they are so brilliant. There is no definitive list – I will write about the ones that really strike a chord with me (and my wee girl).

First up is ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?’ written by Bill Martin Jr & illustrated by Eric Carle of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ fame.

 

Brown Bear Brown Bear - review by Alan Dapre

This book is one that I often read to my daughter and put aside only to find she would crawl over to her book box and pluck it out. Many a time she would plonk it in my lap, snuggle up and open the cover – all with a look of expectation and impatience.

The text has a gentle rhythm and satisfying flow as it repeats throughout the book. ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? I see a …. looking at me.’ The bear sees another animal that in turn sees another … until children come in sight. In one version a teacher features but our version just has the animals.

By 18 months – and just a few weeks after getting the book –  my daughter was ‘reading’ it herself, turning pages and saying the words aloud from memory. It was a joy to behold. She loves to commit texts to memory and say them aloud in the car, while drawing etc.

For me, the real delight is in the inspired illustrations. They are (I think) made by careful placing of coloured tissue paper. Sometimes the paper overlaps to create satisfying blocks of darker colour. The ripped edges add to the appeal.

At the front and back of the book Eric Carle added pages decorated with just strips of colour which meant my daughter could see all the colours that related to each animal featured in the book. Soon she was able to name each colour and use this skill in everyday life. Her collage work began in earnest – and she now enjoys creating pictures out of brightly coloured torn paper.

I rated this book so highly I gave a spare copy to the local doctor’s surgery so that other children could happily enjoy the captivating words and pictures.

What more can I say? If you like colourful, engaging children’s picture books that feature dynamic rhymes and lots of animals then this is the book for you & your child.

***

Of course, you might also like to consider downloading a sample or two of my cute Wee Bear picture ebooks 🙂

Cuddle Muddle‘ – available on kindle  (UK link)

Cuddle Muddle‘ – available on kindle  (US link)

‘Wiggle Jiggle’ –  available on kindle (UK link)

‘Wiggle Jiggle’ – available on kindle  (US link)