Day 20 of Book Monsters advent, and I read today’s choice of book to 90 children yesterday resulting in lots of laughter bouncing round the library. One boy audibly giggled the whole way through, and as much as I’d love to think it’s the way I told it, I’m pretty certain the story and illustrations did all the work!! That book was The Prince and the Pee, written by Greg Gormley, illustrated by Chris Mould and published by Nosy Crow.
Prince Freddie is off on a mission to fight a terrible dragon and save a castle, but the journey is very long and rather bumpy on his faithful steed, and Freddie, after earlier downing buckets of lemonade, needs a wee! This really silly story follows Freddie and his horse as they try and find a suitable place to take a little loo trip. But everywhere they go, there are fairytale characters getting in the way! It is a familiar story for many parents out there of the long journey without a loo stop!
This story is brilliantly written by Greg Gormley, so full of humour and fun and is fantastic to read out loud to children, you can really play it up to make it sillier and funnier than ever. It’s also slightly lengthier than standard picture books, so is perfect for older children, which suits me as I’m always on the look out for picture books to read to older class visits. The class I read it to this week seemed to really enjoy it, one couple stating “I loved that book, it was a bit rude“. I’m not going to lie, when surrounded by the faces of 10 or so teachers, working tirelessly to instill good and sensible behaviour in their darling pupils, shouting “POO!” at them at the top of my voice felt a little close to the bone. But, I threw caution to the wind and yelled the punchline out anyway! I’m pretty sure the teachers will never forgive me, but I’m pretty sure the children had a thoroughly brilliant time.
Chris Mould is one of my all time favourite illustrators, instantly recognisable, and he’s so adaptable from being able to inject feeling and emotion into his artwork or, like in this book, bags of humour! The details are great. Each illustration looks like it’s been painted directly onto the page and they’re really very beautiful, yet bursting with wit and just the right amount of detail (you can go too far where poo and pee are concerned) but this is perfectly played.
The Prince and the Pee would make the ideal gift for a non-book loving child, the perfect gift for any child, and for me, it is my new go to story for class visits, and I cannot give higher praise than that.