Does your child have a very special toy? One that’s been ‘loved’ to bits? I’m fairly certain most parents could tell a story or two about favourite toys or just start with Zoe and Beans’ charming tale, Where is Binky Boo?
Author and illustrator Mike Inkpen teams up with his daughter, Chloë, to create a new series of books about a little girl, Zoe and her ragamuffin dog, Beans.
In Where is Binky Boo? we meet Zoe, her favourite doll Molly, and Beans. Zoe loves her doll but unfortunately so does Beans. And therein lies the problem. It started when Beans lost his favourite toy, Binky Boo, and decided that Molly was a fine substitute. He chews and slobbers on her as if she were his own, will only play fetch with Molly (despite having a brand new squeaky chicken dog toy!) and even takes Molly for a day at the park with his doggy pals.
Soon Molly becomes so stinky that Zoe can’t bear to sleep with her and decides that enough is enough! Molly is washed (with a whole box of washing powder just to be sure), hung out to dry and returned to Zoe as good as new. Beans is not happy! What happens next? Does Beans persist with Molly or does he find Binky Boo?
I love this story and not only for the warm, charming watercolour illustrations. The Inkpens have introduced two new characters, Zoe and Bean, that I suspect will be an instant hit with kids, much like other Inkpen creations, Kipper and Wibbly Pig. A delightful camaraderie exists between Zoe and Beans and I’m sure children will eagerly await their next adventure.
The story relies predominantly on the importance of one’s sense of smell. When it comes to favourite toys, the smell of them is key – which is why parents, despite being desperate to wash the filthy ‘blankie’ or the grubby teddy, don’t!
Where is Binky Boo? is suggested for children aged three to five years however I think it is also a lovely choice for kids as young as two, particularly if they have a favourite toy.