Johnny’s Beard by Michelle Worthington & Katrin Dreiling (Little Pink Dog Books)

Picture books are a wonderful and unique format for story-telling. This is where children pick up glorious language from lyrical text, values from heart warming stories, and a creative passion from mesmerising art work splashed in rich colours and textures, which is why I am always so excited to review these gorgeous books!

In Johnny’s Beard by Michelle Worthington, Johnny dedicates time and effort to look after his wonderful long, luxurious beard, which is the deep orange colour of the setting sun. He doesn’t mind of course, he’s all too happy spending the whole day washing and drying, and combing it before bed-time.

On his daily walk Johnny meets some cold animals in need and he takes them all into his warm beard where they happily fall asleep. But, that won’t do! They can’t stay in his beard all winter!? Or, can they?

This lovely picture books tells a story about awareness, helping others, sacrifice, acceptance and change.  You’ll want to read this to your Prep to year 2 kids because Worthington’s text is splendidly scattered with noun groups, with lots of opportunities to point out adjectives. There’s a beautiful metaphor in here too! The dialogues between Johnny and his animal neighbours are repetitious, reinforcing language structure and will help those children learning to read, to read with confidence. 

Dreiling’s art work is cute and detailed, the pages covered in rich colours and textures. If you have read this book, let me know in the comments which animal is your favourite? Our favourite picture is the mouse sleeping in the beard with its mouth open and two rectangle teeth sticking out! See if you can spot him!

Suggested age: Read aloud to 3+. Read by self 5+. Recommended for a confident reader.

Published by Little Pink Dog Books, 2018

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