One of the services my business offers is English tuition, and I am, therefore, always on the lookout for educational resources. The other day I was in Chorley and decided to walk past the St Catherine’s Hospice bookshop, ‘just to glance in the window’. Yeah, right – as if I could walk past a shop like that!
There was, as always, a wonderful window display and, right in the corner, some Ladybird Read With Me books. Having brought my own two up on tales from Puddle Lane, and eagerly devoured just about every Ladybird book my own school library had, I knew I had to go in and take a closer look. I decided to buy two different picture dictionaries to help a child understand the concept of ‘words begnning with…’ Yes, that was all I would buy…..
On the table right between myself and the cash till, however, some cunning person had artfully placed…to my absolute delight…..three Monsieur Pamplemousse books. These books, to anybody who might never have heard of them, are written by Michael Bond [yes, he of Paddington Bear fame] but are most definitely not for small children. They are about the adventures of a French detective, who is a gastronome par excellence, and his faithful dog Pommes Frites. Basically, Mr Grapefruit and his dog, Chips.
The mystery-solving detective and his hound manage to solve the crimes in the way of all good sleuths, but never letting a meal-time pass by uncelebrated. They also get into some rather funny scrapes of the ‘Ooooh Matron!’ type, making for a jolly good romp all in all.
I first came across these at a [now sadly closed] library but had given up all hope of ever finding any more [though I bet a quick scour of t’internet would have found me plenty]. So, my quick ‘glance’ resulted in 2 Ladybird books and three wonderful novels for myself, all for the princely sum of £4. If you’ve never ‘glanced’ in a charity bookshop window, you haven’t lived.