Hope and hamantaschen
JOSHY IS four but he cannot chat with his classmates or understand what his teacher is saying. He has a condition called Specific Language Impairment and (Grosvenor House, £7.99) is Cynthia Pelman’s story of how he learns to communicate. It is told from the alternating viewpoints of his patient speech therapist, his anxious mother and Joshy himself. Parents of children with speech a n d l a n - guage difficulties will f i n d p r a c - t i c a l h e l p and reassurance in this book — but its appeal is wider than that. This is a tale of quiet courage and determinat i o n a n d readers from age 12 to adult will be willing Joshy to succeed.
Pelman is a speech and language therapist and is a founder of Wordworks, which provides reading instruction, parent support and language assistance to children from impoverished townships in South Africa ( This and her other books are part of her mission to act as an advocate for children who have not yet found their voice.
If you can overlook the American spelling, by Rachel Raz (Kar-Ben, £5.60 ) is a fun book t o s h a r e w i t h u n d e r - s e v e n s s t a r t i ng Hebrew. It devotes a d o u - ble page to each colour, with rainbow-bright photographs of appropriate objects — such as a stop light and mail van for red, each labelled in English, Ivrit and transliterated Ivrit. Pictures also give glimpses of Israeli life, for instance oranges at Jaffa market.
Someof thewordsusedareambitious for early readers — “beautiful cyclamens” appear on the pink page and “Montefiore windmill” on the white. But there’s no harm in aiming high.
is a brilliant new Purim picture book by Laura Aron Milhander, illustrated by Inna Chernyak (Kar-Ben, £5.40). Three little pigs, Rishon, Sheni and Shlishi (first, second and third) are making crowns for Purim. The first makes h i s c r o w n rapidly out of thin paper. The second mak e s h i s quite a bit s t r o n g e r , from poster board, gold foil and glue. But the third spends ages making his really strong... what? You think you’ve read something like this before? Wait and see what happens when the big bad wolf comes along in search of hamantaschen.
No wolves are harmed in this Purimspiel re-telling, which becomes a humorous fable about saying sorry, forgiveness and sharing.
If you loved Enid Blyton’s boardingschool stories, look out for Anne Digby’s series, which is being reissued by Egmont (£6.99 each). These are classic stories of friendship, rivalry and gentle mystery, for ages seven to 11.