Saturday, 5 March 2016

About Face by Aisling McDermott with Laura Kennedy and Little Bear by Else H. Minirak, illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Just before Christmas I looked in the mirror and thought, where is my foundation gone? I texted my good friend Pauline to ask her if she used powder to "fix" her make up and she replied "Are you insane? I've been using it for thirty years!"

Seeking advice, Sali Hughes was my first port of call, as I love the Saturday Guardian. So when my mother in law called in yesterday with a copy of About Face for my birthday, I thought damn, I wish it was Pretty Honest. Howandsoever, after on flicking through a few pages, I realised I was an (ungrateful)eejit.

My goodness, it is so, so lovely to read about what is available here in Ireland. Having grown up in the seventies and eighties in Dublin, I am well used to the "not available in Rep. of Ireland" on the side of cereal packets(yes, I was deprived - no Tony the Tiger t-shirt for me!) and knowing no matter what I created, getting a Blue Peter Badge was never, ever going to happen. I know things are different now but still, if I was reading Pretty Honest I'd be finding out about serums in in Superdrug or some great facialist in West London and other stuff that I just cannot have.

Anyways, last night I spent a blissful half hour browsing this while cuddled up beside my youngest, waiting for him to fall asleep. And another this morning with my post-school-drop-off-coffee, and another this afternoon,because there is no homework on Friday and this book is well written and great and exactly what I felt like reading on a Friday afternoon. Its sort of the opposite of when you ask the advice of a cosmetic counter lady and they say "Do you want to tackle your redness, wrinkles or dry patches?" As in, after reading I felt, hmmm, I could try that, as opposed to shoot me. Now. (I've written about my other beauty adventures here.)
A useful, funny, not depressing(even if you have just turned 47!) read.

Now, there is no shortage of kids books about cuddly brown bears(I've just noticed the Berenstains above. We LOVE the Berenstains!) and their offspring. It seems to be a theme no publisher will turn away, and it shows. Not all of them are great. Still, we do love Whatever Next! and Can't you Sleep, Little Bear?

But this Little Bear, first published in 1957 must be one of the first of the bunch.

It is a must buy, really it is. Illustrated by Maurice Sendak and perfectly, simply, so kindly written by Else H. Minarik, this book is a small and perfect gem.

Officially its an I Can Read book, and there is lots of word repetition, so it works that way. But really, what you get here for around €4 is a beautifully illustrated set of wonderful stories. For boys and girls aged three to six.

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