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The Big-Hearted Book Paperback – 1 Aug 2013
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A lovely, simple picture book with a huge message about how love keeps us connected. (Manchester Evening News)
Full of the witty exuberance which has become a Nicholas Allan trademark...a terrific basis for chats and discussion, for lessons and the development of parallel further work with youngsters. (The School Librarian)
A moving tale about how friendship endures. (Junior)
Beautifully told, poignant and funny, this is a wonderful celebration of life, love and friendship. (Books For Keeps (Christmas edition))
Full of the witty exuberance which has become a Nicholas Allan trademark... a terrific basis for chats and discussion, for lessons and the development of parallel further work with youngsters. (School Librarian)
Beautifully told, poignant and funny, this is a wonderful celebration of life, love and friendship. (Regency Bookshop)
From the bestselling creator of The Queen's Knickers and Father Christmas Needs a Wee, comes a brand new picture book written in association with the International Children's Heart Foundation.See all Product description
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In this book, 'The Big Hearted Book', Nicholas Allan has joined forces with the International Children's Heart Foundation to help them raise funds to save children suffering with heart problems.
It is a truly worthy cause.
Allan's illustrations are their usual, gorgeous, under stated and likeable selves.
It is the story, which to me, is weak. I feel terrible saying this because it is a book to raise money for charity, but I really didn't enjoy this much. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that you buy it by the way. It is a nice enough story, beautifully illustrated and packaged, for a very good cause. A lot of children I know would be perfectly happy with this story and not notice that the usual Allan magic is missing.
In the story, Bill and Babette are best friends. Bill is a dog who loves to play and read and eat with and spend every waking moment with Babette, who carefully looks after him. They are joined by a ribbon of hearts, which neither of them can see, but both can feel.
One day Babette gets ill, and Bill has to look after himself. He feels lonely and wonders where Babette has gone.
It turns out, that Babette has been in hospital, having her heart mended, and once it is better, she and Bill can have a much stronger, more equal relationship.
A sweet story which appeals to people of a more sensitive and sentimental nature than me I'm afraid.
The book tells of Babette and her friend/dog Bill. They love each other and do everything together, but one day Babette disappears, and Bill is left wondering where she's gone. Eventually he finds out she has been in hospital, but she recovers and returns to him, healthier and happier than ever.
The message of hope is really nice, and it would be a good book to read with children who are worried about relatives or friends who are ill, or who are going into hospital themselves. There were some cute bits in the book as well, such as when Bill cooks his own dinner (a pile of bones), or when he brings food in bed to Babette.
However I have to say, the overall tone is sort of depressing until right at the end. Even at the start, Babette seems sad and the friendship between her and Bill isn't particularly charming. I'm not fond of the scruffy style of illustrations either, though I know that's a matter of personal taste.
It's probably not a book I'd read with a child unless there was a reason such as an impending hospital visit. But even though I don't love it, I'd still recommend supporting the charity.
The book tells the story of a friendship between a dog and a girl, who spend all their time together and do things together. Babette usually looks after Bill (the dog) but when she feels unwell and ends up in hospital, both are heart broken. However, the invisible ribbon of hearts that keep them together is never broken. A true story of friendship. It does not however, have the usual humour you expect from a Nicholas Allan storybook, instead it has a more serious message. The story is accompanied by great illustrations, also by Nicholas Allan.
I would recommend this as a great book to give as a gift. It is also a good resource which could be used to discuss friendship or a relative in hospital or of ill health and one which raises the profile of a worthwhile charity.
The plot, about the friendship between a dog and little girl, and what happens when the little girl goes to hospital, never seems to gel - they're friends, she vanishes, he sort of misses her, she returns and they're happy. I realise that the book is about raising awareness of a heart charity, so I don't want to be mean spirited about it, but it feels like a missed opportunity. It's not that I wanted it to tackle the big issues more directly, just that it feels so oblique as to miss the point. The symbolism of two friends connected by a string of hearts was not lost on me, but doesn't really mean a lot to a small child. It's too literal.
Maybe we'd have got more out of this if we were already fans of Nicholas Allan, but overall we're unlikely to read it often. Which is a shame.
This is not only a great story but would help families explain illness such as a heart condition and having to go to hospital to those children who are too young to fully understand what being ill with a complaint such as this entails. I chose this book for this very reason and we were able to explain to the toddlers in our home why their cousin is not able to go out and play with them. It does not go into graphic details which is a huge plus for me but it does have a sweet little story and it is one book which I would happily recommend to anyone who has young children who also have a love of books.
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