This is such a cool book. It follows the antics of Sidney and Stella, twins who like to do everything together except that hardest of Very Hard Things – sharing. This causes the usual scuffles and squabbles until one day things go a little too far and they end up breaking the moon. Yep, the actual high-in-the-sky, made-of-cheese, home-to-a-man moon.
Needless to say, this causes quite a stir and very soon the pair realise that they’re going to have come up with a pretty impressive solution to the problem (I won’t spoil it for you by revealing their cunning plan). Not only do they manage to salvage the situation but they do so whilst sharing a common goal and working with each other as opposed to against each other.
This book struck a chord with all of us. C and H are getting to an age where they can play together and enjoy the same activities, but there is still enough of a difference in how they play for there to be regular conflicts. The boys therefore really enjoyed all the illustrations showing Sidney and Stella having fun together (or not, as the case may be). H currently spends a reasonable amount of time just wanting to copy his big brother and whilst C tolerates this, he does get fed up occasionally. C also wants H to do things his way all the time and gets annoyed when H has his own ideas.
All this is clearly typical behaviour for toddlers and pre-schoolers and I try not to get too frustrated with it, though I’m not always successful 😉 It’s all worth it though, for the moments when they do work together, even if it is to hatch plots to wear all my bracelets at the same time, or to climb up and get all the Easter eggs from the cupboard. Even more touching are the times when they look out for each other, such as today when H coughed and C ran over to pat his back for him. Or yesterday, when C and I were Having A Serious Talk about following instructions and H stood silently next to C, gently stroking his hand in solidarity.
A book such as Emma Yarlett’s gem has given us so much to talk about and it’s been really helpful to remind ourselves that we aren’t the only ones struggling with these thorny issues. Obviously it helps that the book is so visually appealing, with just the sort of quirky illustrations and use of different fonts and text layouts that we always appreciate.
Bearing in mind the hectic schedule of a talented illustrator, we feel v lucky to have managed to snaffle Emma Yarlett (who was preparing for her wedding at the time we contacted her – we hope she had a gorgeous day!) to answer a few questions for us.
C came up with these questions (edited by me for sense purposes where necessary) and he is extremely pleased with the answers. Read and enjoy 🙂
1) Did you ever fight with your brothers and sisters?
I hate to admit it, but I very much did! I only have one older sister, and sometimes she was a little bit bossy (don't tell her I said that!), so things would often get a bit tense when I didn't do as I was told...
2) What was the most trouble you ever got into when you were little?
When I was in Nursery School, I had a Beatrix Potter colouring-in-book. Out teacher gave us some homework to colour in one page over the weekend, but I wanted to colour in the whole book, so I told a little bit of a porky to my mum.... that we had to colour in the whole book! I had great fun over the weekend colouring in 30 pages, but my parents thought I had done such a good job they brought it in to show the teacher... who was very impressed, but quickly told them I shouldn't have done that much... I got in quite a bit of trouble!
3) I would like to use a ladder and a firefighter’s rope to fix the moon. What do you think would be a good way to fix the moon?
What a great idea! If only Sidney and Stella had thought of that, I might mention it to them next time they come round for tea and biscuits (well... Jaffa Cakes). I think I would fix the moon by piecing it all back together using chewing gum as glue, and then throwing it back up and hoping it would stick! If it didn't I might have to borrow your ladder if that's okay?
(C says he is happy to share the ladder love and will gladly lend it in return for a Jaffa Cake.)
4) What is your favourite tool for fixing things?
Is super glue a tool? If not, and electric drill, they are always fun and noisy.
(C says he loves to use superglue too, but isn’t really allowed at the moment after some Serious Gluing Incidents. He thinks a drill is a great choice – the noisier, the better when it comes to tools!)
5) We really like the big fold-out page with all the people on. How did you choose what to include on that page?
I let my imagination run into over time. It took quite a while to think up all the things to go on there... but I've had a few ideas since which I wish I could add in! Can you think of anything you would like to add in?
(C and H would like to add in some dinosaurs, some firefighters, a penguin and a narwhal…!)
6) What is your favourite colour to draw with?
Turquoise. I'm getting married in 9 days, and our main colour is turqouise. I'm pretty into it at the moment! Second favourite would be duck egg blue, and third favourite would be a nice charcoal kind of grey.
7) What’s your favourite book at the moment?
I really really really really like Jonny Duddle's 'The King of Space.' Rex is so naughty!
(Check out our review of ‘The King of Space’ here – we agree that it’s ace!)
8) Do you have any more ideas for books in your head?
I do I do! I have lots. I'm writing my second one right this very minute. It's about a little boy who is very very small, and very very scared of the dark.... until something very strange and wonderful happens.
9) Do you prefer drawing or painting?
I like a bit of both- But definitely has to be drawing first and then painting, or I might get into a higgledy piggle.
We know you’ll be extraordinarily keen to find out how to get hold of a copy of this brilliant book. While we’ll always recommend independent bookshops and libraries, I’m over the moon (pun intended!) to be able to offer you the chance to win your very own copy, thanks to the lovely people at Templar.
Here’s how to get involved:
To win a copy of this book, simply leave a comment at the end of this post, telling me the name of your favourite tool and why you like it (you can thank C for that condition of entry 😉 ). You can enter more than once by sharing this giveaway post on your Facebook page or blog, or by tweeting about it. You can copy and paste the following text if that makes it easier.
I’ve entered the giveaway on the @StoryseekersUK blog to win a copy of ‘Sidney, Stella and the Moon’ by @EmmaYarlett. Come and join the fun!
You must leave a separate comment after this post for each entry for them to count. Comments must be posted by midnight on Thursday, 11th April and I will pick the winner at 1pm on Friday, 12th April (UK time). The winner will be chosen at random, using http://www.random.org and I will contact the winner after the draw for their address (you must live in the UK to enter) to pass on to Templar, who will send out the prize. I will also post the winner’s name on here. Good luck!
Friday 12th April, 1:10pm – this competition has now closed and the lucky winner was Carmen Haselup. Thanks to all who entered!
Disclaimer: I received my copy of this book from the publisher. I was not asked to write this post, nor was I given any money for doing so, and the review represents my own honest opinion.