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Books on the theme of ‘Role play’

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By Fiona Mukerjeeearly years practitioner.

After sharing this selection of make-believe books, young children will love role playing the different characters

I Want to be a Cowgirl by Jeanne Willis

cowgirl_1215516390.jpg A laugh-out-loud delight. The story centres on a young girl who dreams of swapping her city life for the rolling prairie, and has a fun twist at the end. The rhythmic and lively text is superbly complemented by Tony Ross’ quirky, comic illustrations. In this little girl’s world, a washing line becomes a lasso, a banana turns into a six-shooter, and a mangy scrapyard dog is a piebald mare, and… ‘What’s so wrong with that?’ she asks her daddy.

Suitable for ages three to six (Andersen Press, PB, £5.99).

On a Pirate Ship by Anna Milbourne and Benji Davies

pirate_1215524346.jpg A delightfully robust book that recounts the exploits of swashbuckling seadogs in simple, clear sentences. Full of brightly-coloured, wonderfully-detailed illustrations, the text gently introduces ‘pirates-in-waiting’ to the dangers and thrills of brigand life. The pace ebbs and flows like the tide as the mixed bunch set sail under twinkling stars; battle a storm at sea; chase a treasure ship; capture the crew; and hide on a treasure island. This simple tale is a true gem and worked well with a large group of children.

Suitable for ages two to five (Usborne, HB, £6.99).

Little Wizard by Ben Cort

wizard_1215524551.jpg This book tells the story of what happens when a magical boy gets his kite stuck in a tree. This sparkly board book features a sound button, and boasts a host of surprises, as children lift the flaps on every page to discover what appears when the Little Wizard waves his magical wand. Bright illustrations and chunky design made this a firm favourite in the book corner.

Suitable for ages two to five (Egmont, BB, £4.99).

I am a Spaceman! by Rosalind Beardshaw

spaceman_1215524588.jpg This is a sturdy book with a novel twist as guests at Ben’s birthday party arrive dressed in their everyday clothes, and magically ‘change’ into their fancy-dress costumes at the pull of a tab. There are clear clues as to what the children will dress up as on every page. This, and the combination of colourful, interesting illustrations and simple text, engaged our children immediately.

Suitable for ages two to six (Egmont, HB, £4.99).

Princess for a Day by Sarah Dyer

princess_1215524672.jpg A charming story about the tribulations of siblinghood. When Clementine decides to be princess for a day, brother Mungo’s loyalty as a subject is sorely tested as his sister adapts superbly to her royal role. Brilliantly illustrated and supplied with its own princess crown, this delightful tale left our children, unlike Queen Victoria, most ‘definitely amused.’

Suitable for ages two to six (Bloomsbury, PB, £6.99).

Got a book to add to this list? Then email your review to aboutbooks@scholastic.co.uk

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