Reading and bedtime often walk hand in hand, and although my two eldest children are strong and capable readers my youngest daughter Robin still enjoys being read to at bed time. When we moved it was her idea to create a book area under the stairs to house all the books we’ve acclimated over the years. But of course we are always hungry for more fun and enjoyable books to read together at bedtime.
Harley Hound and Red Spotted Ned are two wonderful books written by Chris Jones, inspired by when his son was read books by his mum, and once it came to Chris’ turn to read the books, he chose to create his own stories and adventures full of superpowers and never ending tails. After dealing with the break down of his relationship Chris jumped back into writing a story he and his fiancee started and found working on the story and completing it helped him heal and with myself having had to deal with the breakdown of my relationship in late 2019 I can fully understand how therapeutic throwing yourself into something to deal with the heartbreak. We all come out of the other end with a new and stronger look on life.
H A R L E Y H O U N D a n d R E D S P O T T E D N E D
Harley Hound is a charming little rhyming story about as you can probably tell Harley who is a basset hound who wasn’t feeling quite right and wanted to be a little different to the usual Harley, Once she attempts to create this new and improved self, However despite all her plans she comes to realize people avoided giving her pets and her friends felt scared. She looked at herself in the mirror and saw she was still the same dog as before and decided to act like herself again. Learning an extremely important lesson to teach children that being yourself is best.
We all go through moments like Harley, wondering if we should change ourselves to please other people but in the long run its so important to just be yourself. We are all unique people and if we are all the same then life would be extremely boring. it is such an important lesson for children to know and learn. We should show pride in ourselves and strive to be the best we can be without changing ourselves in process.
Red Spotted Ned is another rhyming story, this time it is about Ned who is a angry monster who is always grumpy and angry. To show how angry he is he changes colours to a mean shade of red. However sometimes he isn’t so angry and turns green. The one thing that makes him really angry is his poor neighbor Yuri, One day his anger got the better of him and decided to cut down Yuri’s beautiful sunflowers. However after his deed during the night by a ghost a la Christmas Carol and is shown that Yuri grew the flowers in the hopes to make Ned happy, He is then shown that Yuri has also made Ned a cake. His spots slowly start to change colour and when he finally sees the cake left by his neighbor, Ned angry red spots turn green and he enjoys his cake with his new friend. Yuri.
Much like the previous story, we have moments of anger and frustration, but there are always people around to help you get out of those dark and stormy times. Children are sometimes a bubble of emotions that are either extremely positive or negative and Red Spotted Head teaches children the importance of calming down and seeing the best in life. While as I said everyone feels angry or upset at times and of course its important they feel these and no shame in their feelings, being angry all the time can sometimes push friends away and make a very lonely experience.
Chris’ stories are truly a charm and have been enjoyed multiple times during bed times, We all love Harleys ears. Chris believes that childrens stories should have a positive moral without being too serious, making them enjoyable and funny to read. In general Chris himself sounds just like how he writes his rhyming books given that the name of the super hero from the stories he told his son which I mentioned before is also his Zoom name. Harley Hound and Red Spotted Ned are a must for anyone who loves rhyming stories and tales with lessons.
You can find Harley Hound and Red Spotted Ned Amazon and Waterstones and you can follow Chris on twitter
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