Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Alfie Gives a Hand

Alfie Gives a Hand

Shirley Hughes
Picture Book and audio CD  Series
For ages 4 to 6
Random House UK, 2010   ISBN: 978-1862309906

One day Alfie comes home from nursery school carrying an envelope that has his name on it. Alfie’s mother explains that the card inside the envelope is an invitation inviting Alfie to Bernard’s birthday party. Alfie is very excited because he has never been to a birthday party before.

Before the party, Alfie gets clean and all dressed up. He gets a little anxious when his mother explains that she and his little sister Annie Rose will not be at the party. To make himself feel better, Alfie gets his old blanket and he insists on taking it with him to the party.

At the party, Alfie sees Bernard and his other friends from nursery school. He refuses to put his blanket down so he has a hard time playing with the others. He even carries his blanket to the tea table and as a result, his blanket gets awfully dirty.

Throughout the party, Bernard the birthday boy is rather obnoxious, and after the tea he puts on a tiger mask that scares poor little Min so much that she holds onto Alfie. Then Bernard’s Mum announces that they are going to play ring-a-ring-o’-roses, and Alfie finds himself in the middle of a situation that does not have any room for his blanket. What is he going to do?

In this delightful picture book, Shirley Hughes once again tells a story that describes an everyday kind of adventure. She also has her main character, little Alfie, discover that there are times when the needs of others supersede one’s own needs.

Children who like to listen to audiobooks will be delighted to see that this picture book has a CD that goes with it.