It will always be the first time for someone, even with a well known tale like the one about the Hare and Tortoise. I like the version by Alison Murray which, along with the other two books mentioned below, has been shortlisted for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize.
The illustrations are both sweet and funny, and there is something satisfyingly endearing about the silly hare and the hardworking tortoise. It works every time.
In Ross Collins’s There’s a Bear on My Chair I didn’t predict what was going to happen, which made it much more fun for me. The pictures are lovely on their own, or you could just ‘read’ without reading if you wanted to. The poor little mouse who has to think of ways to get silly big bear off his chair. It’s poetic, too, and reads rather like a Dr Seuss story.
With Nick Sharratt’s Shark in the Park, on the other hand, I could see exactly how it must end. It’s the cry wolf scenario. You keep thinking there’s a shark in the park, and then it turns there isn’t.
Until, well, until there is.
As always, cheery colours, in that loveable style Nick has. Just watch how you go in the park. It might even be preferable to have a bear on your chair. Or to be the silly hare.