Book Review – Alfie Outdoors – Shirley Hughes

My husband and I love books and its something which we want to encourage in Monkey. We have read to him every night before bed from a very early age. More recently he has taken to pulling the books of the shelves himself and finding a quiet corner and flicking through the pages making up his version of the story as he goes. A book corner is definitely on my to do list.

We all know of the benefits of reading to our child, be it at bedtime or any other time of the day, not only does it help their listening skills, expand their vocabulary and imagination but its also a brilliant bonding experience. Hubby and I have to take it in turns otherwise we bicker over who does it! So when I was given the opportunity to review a brand new Alfie story with Monkey I leapt at the chance.
Alfie Outdoors Book Review

Alfie Outdoors is written and illustrated by Shirley Hughes, winner of the Book Trust Lifetime Achievement Award. She also received an OBE in 1999 for her outstanding contribution to children’s literature. Based on this I was expecting good things and we weren’t disappointed. Being new to the Alfie series I wondered if this would affect the story for us as we don’t know the characters or what has happened in previous books. I need not have worried as this book has no bearing on the rest of the series.

The book tackles a couple of themes around patience, waiting for vegetables to grow and also the temporary loss of a friend when Alfie’s favourite goat goes missing.

Several elements of the story captivated Monkey as he too is eagerly waiting for vegetable plants to produce -courgettes, pumpkins and potatoes in our case.  He too has his only little veggie patch in our vegetable garden and was allowed to choose some seeds. We have also recently had a bonfire burning garden rubbish. I think this helped to bring the story alive for him, along with the lovely illustrations. I particularly like the back pages that run through Alfie’s year month by month.

Alfie Outdoors Book Review

I first read the story to Monkey at bed time, we read it a couple of times as once wasn’t enough. Initially he was a little confused as our cat is called Alfie, so I explained to him about the main character being a little boy (picture below). Once he had got his head round this he started to relate to the book Alfie through pointing to things in the book or saying ‘like Monkey’. The activities in the garden are all ones we have been through ourself in the last few months so it was great that I could draw comparisons and bring the book alive for him. He told me his favourite bit was when Alfie pulled up the carrots – that figures, he keeps going on about pulling up carrots.  There is also a page which has a number of bugs on it, I think every child could draw comparisons with their own bug hunt experiences! Monkey enjoyed counting and naming them all.

Alfie Outdoors Book Review

From a parent’s viewpoint it is easy to read and flows well. Its much more than a picture book, although the illustrations are lovely it has a good amount of content and holds Monkey’s interest. From cover to cover it took us 15 minutes or so to read. There are lots of opportunities to question what is going on in the book, checking understanding as you go along which can also aid with development.

It is published on the 30th July and the Bodley Head hardback edition has an RRP of £11.99. We throughly enjoyed this story and I will be looking out for some of the other books in the series noted below:

  • Alfie Gets in First
  • Alfie’s Feet
  • Alfie Gives a Hand
  • An Evening at Alfie’s
  • Alfie & the Birthday Surprise
  • Alfie Wins a Prize
  • Alfie and the Big Boys

I was given a copy of Alfie Outdoors to review, all comments and opinions are my own.

Mudpie xx

Family Fever
what katy said
A Cornish Mum

26 Comments

  1. Becky, Cuddle Fairy
    July 27, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    Lovely review! Sounds like a wonderful book. I love that it teaches patience, that’s a really important quality for kids to learn – and so difficult at the same time! x

    • July 30, 2015 / 8:33 pm

      Hmmm I’m not very good at it myself so I could do with s bit of learning too… ?! X

  2. Sally@Toddlers on Tour
    July 28, 2015 / 3:55 am

    I love children’s stories that have an underlying theme to help them work through their feelings.

  3. July 28, 2015 / 7:55 am

    Sounds like Monkey enjoyed reading the book and looking at the fab illustrations! Love the photo of him sat in the garden! #TriedTested

  4. July 28, 2015 / 10:18 am

    Aww! What a lovely looking book! Very cute!

  5. July 28, 2015 / 2:53 pm

    I adore the Alfie books, and this one looks great – love the month by month section showing the seasons changing. Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

    • July 30, 2015 / 8:20 pm

      I’ve never read them before but will now be looking out some more :), thanks for hosting x

  6. July 29, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    We have several Alfie books and absolutely love them! This sounds great too #Kidscorner

  7. July 29, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    Aw I love Alfie books. It’s so lovely to be able to share a good story with your little ones.
    Thanks for sharing your review on #TriedTested this week x

  8. July 31, 2015 / 6:54 am

    Ah,looks fab.My little man would love this!Great review x #picnmix

  9. July 31, 2015 / 7:48 am

    I have one very excited little girl who has all the Alfie books and is very excited by this new one. She chooses Alfie Gets In First over all the others, as her bedtime story most evenings and still goes back for more!

    • August 2, 2015 / 7:56 am

      Ooo we will have to check that one out – thank you for the tip 🙂

  10. Sian | The Mama Story
    August 1, 2015 / 7:34 am

    Ah what a lovely book! I love the sweet stories and illustrations in the Alfie books.
    #TriedTested

    • August 2, 2015 / 8:00 am

      Thank you – we’ve not seen them before now but will definitely keeping an eye out for others – thank you for stopping by x

  11. August 2, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    ah we have this book too! been loving reading it the girls love a new book thanks for sharing on #kidscorner

    • August 4, 2015 / 10:10 pm

      Thank you for hosting – see you tomorrow 🙂

  12. Katy (What Katy Said)
    August 3, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    Oh my goodness that photo of Monkey is adorable, honestly i just love your blog!!! Thanks for sharing in #KidsCorner x

    • August 5, 2015 / 7:46 am

      And that’s our sweetcorn he’s very proud of it! Let’s hope we actually get some edible cobs this year it someone is going to be very disappointed! Thank you for stopping by xx

  13. August 6, 2015 / 6:20 am

    I’m a bog fan of the Alfie books, we have them all but don’t have this one. I will be adding it to the collection. Thanks for linking to #PickNmix

  14. August 6, 2015 / 9:46 pm

    I used to love reading with my two all snuggled up with both of them 🙂 They read to me these days and mostly when they have to for school!

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix 🙂

    Stevie x

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