As a bookseller at Waterstones Doncaster, Leilah Skelton regularly reviews the very latest books, with picture books being a particular favourite. Here, she gives her verdict on the delightful Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea by Morag Hood, which is suitable for Foundation Stage children and links with our Reception ILP Do you want to be friends?
“All of his friends are peas. Except Colin.”
Colin and Lee are clearly very different, and difference can be confronting. Colin isn’t described as a carrot inside this book. It is simply pointed out that “Colin isn’t a pea”. Their differences initially seem to limit their friendship, but we are soon shown how embracing ‘other’ can enrich us.
This is one of the best picture books I’ve come across in a long time, and is certain to be one of my favourites of the year!
Its brilliance comes from its simplicity. There are just two colours on the page – vivid collages created from green and orange supermarket carrier bags. The expressions are minimal dot-and-line faces and the tone switches with the simple turn of a line.
The word count per spread moves between just two and 12 words. In fact, everything about what we see is engaging but uncomplicated, which leaves plenty of space for the message to seep in.
There is an artistry to saying a lot with a little and Morag Hood does just that with this debut. It’s OK to be different and it's OK to like those differences. With kindness and acceptance, we can build bridges (in Colin’s case, as a carrot baton, quite literally. And a fantastic one, too). This is one of those endearing, fun stories that quietly influences young readers to be better grown-ups, and to like vegetables too if you’re lucky!
Radiating humour, charm, wit and warmth, it is truly, truly first-rate.
Cornerstones Book Club
Cornerstones Book Club is all about promoting and providing the very best children’s books. As part of that, and in partnership with Waterstones, we’ve curated a range of book packs, designed to save you time while making sure the best children’s literature is at the heart of the curriculum.
With so many amazing children’s books to choose from, it’s our aim to bring you the latest news from the world of publishing, as well as reviews of all the latest releases.
Remember to check back regularly for our latest book reviews.