Today it’s my stop on the ‘Let’s Find Fred’ blog tour and I’m delighted to share this panderrific picture book from Steven Lenton with you on the blog today. Every night, Stanley the zookeeper says goodnight to all of the animals and tucks them into bed. But one night, he can’t find Fred! Where can he be? Dreaming of balloons, candyfloss and parties Fred decides to set of on an adventure of his own. Join Stanley as he searches for the pesky panda amongst all the sights of the city children will love spotting Fred as he hides at the market, the art gallery, in the park, at the funfair and finally at a very special party.
You know from the very moment you lay your eyes on this book (or indeed when it lays it’s eyes on you – watch out for the moving eyes on the cover), that this is going to be a lively and mischievous read. Confusion and chaos runs through the black and white filled pages where pandas seem to be everywhere or maybe not as Stanley finds out, when the ‘Fred’ he spots turns out to be Dave, a big burly bloke. I love how the writing twists, turns and changes direction emphasising how Stanley is chasing Fred all over town and making it more challenging for newly independent readers to enjoy.
This book is guaranteed to have children pouring over the pages for hours as each spread is filled with delicious details that will appeal to both children and parents. Every time I’ve read this book I’ve spotted new things: from a monkey playing with a Rubix Cube; Goldilocks sharing a picnic with the three bears; a small boy drawing on an attendant’s face and a Mum feeling very sick on a tea cup ride. Not forgetting the many famous faces that appear in the book (see who you can spot), the white butterfly on every page and the puns that are scattered throughout the story. Who wouldn’t want to watch ‘The Panda of the Opera’ or ‘Star Paws’? My favourite being the ‘Dirty Dancing’ reference which I challenge you to find. An absolute gem of a picture book, I absolutely loved it!
Steven Lenton is a highly-acclaimed artist whose bestselling titles include the Shifty McGifty series by Tracey Corderoy and The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Steven has also worked as an animation director in children’s television. Originally from Congleton in Cheshire, Steven now splits his time between Bath and London where he works from his studios with his little dog, Holly.
You can find out more about Steven by visiting his website or follow him on Twitter @2dscrumptious
You can catch up with the rest of the blog tour with more reviews and guest posts.
Thank you to Steven and Olivia at Scholastic for inviting me to be part of the blog tour and for my copy of ‘Let’s Find Fred.’