Elizabeth is the ‘lively’ child whom every childcare professional will recognise – the one whose irrepressible energy and spontaneity is as endearing as it is disruptive. When she gives one of her classmates a hearty shove, our heroine sets off a domino effect that ends in chaos. Faced with the consequences of her actions in the shape of her justifiably irate peers, she apologises and is instantly forgiven, whereupon everyone goes out to play. A Victorian writer of moral fables would probably have the young miscreant eaten by a tiger – or at least sent to bed with no supper – but terrifying children into acceptable behaviour is somewhat frowned on within the EYFS these days; Mara Bergman’s adult-free narrative, and Cassia Thomas’s subtly anarchic illustrations, make the necessary point much more effectively, with humour and realism.
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