Written by Amy Trevaskus, illustrated by Alison Heath
"I've got you a present."
"Wow!" said my 4 year old girl.
Two minutes later, we started to read Splash, the first in a series of books about Ping and Pong. She's just started school and has recently learned most of her letters, phonetically of course.
As I told her how Lucy was going to the park with her two friends, Ping and Pong, miniature beings, who live in the clock in the hall, she listened. On the fourth page, My Girl let her fingers glide over a series of letters and voiced them, "P-I-N-G. P-I-N-G," she looked up to the ceiling. "Ping!" she announced suitably proudly. Then she searched the text. "P-O-N-G. Pong!" We both got excited. And so the journey has begun.
After school today, still with her uniform on, she sat down with Ping and Pong and read quietly to herself. I was unable to hear the words of the story, until she shouted, just like Pong does, "I LOVE PUDDLES!"
At bedtime, we revisted our new friends. She relayed the story, in her own words first. It went something like this:
"Right, what do you think is in the story?" I ask what happens. "That's Lucy. Look. Ping got all ready to go out in the park. She puts her boots on just in case it rained. They went out. What do you think happened? It's really good!" She turns the page, "Hello frog, where did you come from? I came from the pond." There is no frog in this story, it's called imagination ;)
"And what do you think happened? It's not good! It got raining and raining and raining. And Pong said, 'I LOVE PUDDLES'. And what do you think happened? She poured water out of her boot. That's Ping."
Then, she spells out ten words. We both get excited again. Cue my turn to read the story, this time in the author's own words, beautifully written and cleverly illustrated, one of those books that I actually enjoy reading and one that she hangs onto every word of, only interrupting me to give her analysis, "Pong likes to go up high in the swing, Ping doesn't like swings a lot." Or to ask a question, "Why is she taking the water out of her wellies?"
We finish reading our new book and she says. "I love Ping and Pong. I love your presents, Mummy. Thank you."
If only all bedtimes were this easy! She's asleep now: I wonder what she's dreaming about....
Weston-super-Mum has a signed copy of Ping and Pong: Splash to give to one lucky winner.
For more information about Ping and Pong and to order your own copy, please visit their website