Helen Docherty and Mark Beech, Do You Remember?

Faber, 2016, ISBN 978-0-571-32114- 8

'I can't do it!' in a large speech bubble. Opposite, a picture of a child learning to ride a bike, Mum and Dad in careful, enthusiastic attendance. Underneath: 'It's not easy learning to do new things' said Mum. 'But you've always got there in the end.' Then, for the rest of the book, memories of the first time the child did a whole range of things. 'Do you remember the first time you jumped with both feet together? You landed right in the middle of a puddle and Grandpa got wet! But we all cheered.' 'Do you remember the first time you sang a song? Everybody on the bus got to hear you sing it over and over again.' 'Do you remember the first time you sat up on your own? I gave you a tambourine to bash but you tried to eat it instead.' After lots of such memories: 'You see .... Everything you've ever wanted to do, you've always found a way to do it.'

This is a delightful picture book - a very positive depiction of the strides a child makes in their early years, supported and encouraged by loving family members. Great for the self-esteem both of children and of parents and carers. Each double page spread shares a memory that will be familiar in most families. There is warmth and pride and humour on every page, both in the words and in the excellent illustrations, which have a character all of their own, but are also somewhat reminiscent of Quentin Blake and Tony Ross. (And how very pleasing that the gender of the child is really not clear.)