Perhaps subconsciously I’m trying to give my children a seaside childhood, only without the sea. They’ve certainly got enough books about pirates and sailing and swimming and the ocean to inspire a love of watery exploring, if only they could find a puddle deeper than their ankles, and Winnie under the Sea fits right into the mix.
It’s part of a series of Winnie and Wilbur books, but the only one that we own (so far) and it’s a treat.
Winnie decides that she and her cat Wilbur should go somewhere lovely and warm and sunny for their holidays (lucky things) so after a quick peek at her Ipad they head off for a tropical paradise. It’s glorious; beautifully hot for Wilbur to enjoy a lovely snooze up a tree, and with all sorts of wonderful fish and underwater marvels for Winnie to enjoy as she snorkels her way around the coast.
In fact there are so many gorgeous things to look at that Wilbur, now rather awake and refreshed from his nap rather wishes he could join her, but when he dips a paw in the right direction he’s reminded that water is all wet and yeuch! So Winnie, in a moment of genius, turns him into a catfish so that he can explore with her, and after a small pause, turns herself into an octopus to join in.
They swim and duck and dive and have a wonderful time until they very nearly end up stuck under the sea when Winnie’s wand goes missing. But with the help of a whole cast of sea creatures it turns up in a very excellent hiding place, and Winnie and Wilbur decide to continue their exploring as Winnie and Wilbur from the great comfort and security of a nice yellow submarine.
It’s a sweet story, and I love the vibrance and the energy of the illustrations; Winnie and Wilbur are both so wonderfully loveable, there’s no Disneyfication, just a happy, slightly scruffy witch with extraordinary powers, who wants to share the very best part of her holiday with her dearest friend.
And as you can see, Kitty and Elma are both big fans – although Elma’s little outstretched fingers might just explain why she was so happy to tuck up for story time with a big sister who happened to still be wielding her cake from pudding!
Does it count as encouraging reading if they’re being unintentionally bribed by their big sister?
Last week Anne-Marie and I, in a moment of united genius, both decided to share The Tiger Who Came to Tea, which I’m certain can only show just what a gorgeous book it is. I’m actually quite impressed that I’ve been talking about books and hosting a linky for the last nine months or so, and this is the first time that any of us have chosen the same book. It clearly just goes to show how many wonderful books there are out there – our lucky children, so many treasures to discover.
And speaking of discoveries, if you have a favourite, please do share it with us; each linky stays open for a week so there’s plenty of time to join in. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you!