Book Title: Just One of Those Days (available here)
Author/Illustrator: Jill Murphy
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: Sept 2020
Most Suitable for: EYFS - KS1
Reviewer: Jo Littlewood
It's hard to believe that it’s been 40 years since the world was first introduced to Mr Bear, Mrs Bear and Baby Bear in Jill Murphy's popular picture books Peace at Last and Whatever Next! It was wonderful to be back with the Bear family during the daytime and they haven’t aged a bit. It feels as though the family has been brought right up to date with their takeaway treat and manic days, while still retaining the nostalgia of the original.
Just One of Those Days starts with the whole family oversleeping and rushing to be ready. Everything goes seems to go wrong from there. Baby Bear is late to nursery and Someone Else seems to be having a much better day. We catch up with Mr and Mrs Bear at lunchtime and their days are also going badly.
In school, this book would be great to use to start discussions in PSHE about having bad days and sharing. Children could be encouraged to talk about how Baby Bear’s difficulties at nursery could be solved while also acknowledging that everyone has bad days, adults included, but we can put them behind us and move on. It could also be used to encourage children to talk about how they might help someone who arrives at school and wants to go home.
Murphy’s familiar illustrations took me right back to childhood as they give the reader a new depth of information about the family. The pictures are full of detail and are great talking points, with lots going on in each for early readers to talk about. There’s also a little nod to Whatever Next, bringing the whole trio of stories together.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to our Review Panel member for reviewing it.
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