Elka and I love receiving packages in the mail. Mostly they are books, ordered online. I feel bad for my local book store, but since I discovered books online, I have stocked up my book shelf and Elka’s.

It’s hit and miss, though. Some are brilliant. Some are so so.

Here’s an example of a brilliant book for children.

Jack and the Flumflum Tree
Jack and the Flumflum Tree

If you have children, you probably have The Gruffalo on your book shelf, or next to the bed. This is by the same author.

Most Julia Donaldson books are good. As I idly browse through online book shelves, I find myself continuously going back to Donaldson. She’s a safe bet.

But this one, in my and Elka’s humble opinion, is better than The Gruffalo. It’s more colourful, for one thing. The rhyme is like music. The story, so playful and original. I absolutely love the illustrations – maybe that’s the clincher; why it’s the favourite. David Roberts is the illustrator.


A friend brought this book to the lake. Without even opening it, she could recite it. It’s been in my head all day, she said.

It’s like that. It gets in your head.

This is Elka, with Jack and the Flumflum Tree in her head. (There’s a weird background noise, sorry). She wasn’t yet three when this was filmed, but that is how catchy this book is.

What makes a great picture book? I am still working this out, but I think Jack and the Flumflum Tree captures most characteristics of a brilliant picture book. It’s beautiful, colourful, playful, has interesting characters, perfect rhyme, is like a song and takes the imagination to unexplored places. 

And there on the hill, for all to see,
Stood the bright green feathery flumflum tree.

“It’s tall!” cried Rose.
“It’s smooth!” cried Stu.
“It’s not got any branches! Whatever shall we do?”

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist,” said Jack.
“Let’s have a look in the patchwork sack.”

Nourishing Little Readers will take place every Friday.

(This post is not sponsored – I will let you know if it is.)

Linking with Flash Blog Friday at Twinkle in the Eye.

Please join me at the Heart Mama Community on Facebook, and subscribe to receive posts by email.