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Smart, sassy wordplay, classy typography and endearing, enduring illustrations come together here to create a shared reading experience that’s pure pleasure for narrator and audience alike, no matter how many times this clever, funny book is pulled from the shelf (which, you should be warned, is likely to be a lot once it’s been discovered). It’s such a simple idea, playing on a feeling that most children will recognise: the very specific sense of impotent frustration that is felt when someone else is sitting on a chair you know, but cannot exactly prove, is ‘yours’. Ross Collins captures the increasing irritation of the mouse who is convinced his place has been usurped with affectionate accuracy – and the little rodent’s righteous indignation is even more hilarious as it becomes clear that the polar bear with whom he is so outraged is utterly oblivious of his existence, let alone his claim on the seat in question. Internal rhymes keep the story bouncing along, and the range of options Collins comes up with for ‘bear/chair’ is impressive; might your charges be able to pool their resources and put together a similarly lengthy and varied list for another creature? What if there were a cat on their mat? Or a flea in their tea?
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