We're a bit worried that Samuel will grow with an obsession with underpants thanks to the literary choices we are making for him. You see, James and I are completely hooked on Claire Freedman and Ben Cort's brilliant series of books about pants.
It started when James's friend, Diane, bought Aliens Love Underpants as a gift for Samuel. We thought he was way to young for a picture book. But one day we read it to him, just to kill time really, and he sat still (a first!) and was completely engrossed by the beautiful, bright pictures. But, more to the point, WE loved it. It's a hilarious rhyming tale that does what it says on the tin: aliens come to earth to pinch pants because they love them. They use them as whizzy slides, wear them on their feet and heads, and even play games where they see how many aliens can fit inside each leg.
We read the book so much, it got to the point where we could both recite it from memory. So, under the guise of 'Samuel needing some new books', we bought three more Underpants books: Aliens in Underpants Save The World, Dinosaurs Love Underpants and Pirates Love Underpants. They are all equally excellent and equally funny, but the one that seems to have taken over as favourite in our household is Pirates.
Again, the title pretty much says it all but, in a nutshell, a bunch of pirates sail to a desert island in search of the fabled Pants of Gold. They are confident that they will get their paws on them because, as the Captain says, "Pants pirates never fail!" (This has become a bit of a Chittenden catchphrase now, and every time we say it, it sounds more and more like a euphemism.)
When they reach the island, the pirates have to negotiate all kinds of scary obstacles, such as hungry crocodiles, prickly undergrowth and caves as black as night.
When they eventually track down the pants they discover, to their horror, that they are in the possession of another pirate crew. So what do they do? I'm not telling. But needless to say, Samuel loves it when it happens (and by that, what I actually mean is that me and James love it when it happens). For story time fun that both kids and grown ups will enjoy, I highly recommend it.