In Ellie and Lump’s Very Busy Day – the latest title from Smarties Prize nominee Dorothy Clark – the title characters, two young elephants, wake up in the morning full of energy. As they help their mother plan a birthday surprise for their father, their day is told through onomatopoeia and childhood exuberance, from boing-bouncing on beds to whizz-whooshing around the supermarket with the trolley.

The sound effects make it a great choice for reading aloud with the pre-schooler in your life, as well as conveying the authenticity of the child’s voice it’s told in – although it’s never clear if Ellie or Lump is narrating, or both of them simultaneously, or if they’re taking it in turns. All the same, the story is so infectiously fun and cheerful it doesn’t really matter. As well as Dorothy Clark’s story, Becky Palmer’s beautiful illustrations are effective in showing how the exciting day unfolds for the two siblings, in particular the shopping and party scenes.

If you are looking for a fun read-out-loud title to enjoy with your little one, you could certainly do a lot worse than Ellie and Lump. The story’s energy and exuberance will firmly ensure its place as a modern children’s classic.

Images courtesy of Walker Books, who have published Ellie and Lump’s Very Busy Day by Dorothy Clark and Becky Palmer.

Ellie and Lump’s Very Busy Day was published on 1st June 2017 by Walker Books.