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Reading age: 6+
Interest age: 3+
Illustrations: Bethan Mai Insta:@bethan_mai
Genre: #picturebook #WelshOriginal #funny #fiction
After the last two years, I think we could all do with a little bit of light relief and something to make us smile. I’d say this is even more important in our children's books, because there really is no better way of fostering a love of reading than with humour.
I was a big fan of the first book in the Ffwlbart Ffred series and I thought it was a cracking idea to have a funny little story to ‘explain’ where some of our most well-known idioms came from.
This time, ‘dywyll fel bol buwch’ is getting the Ffwlbart treatment. When you actually stop and think about it, these idioms are actually quite bizarre! Who came up with the phrase ‘dywyll fel bol buwch?’ [as dark as a cow’s belly] The Welsh language is full of little quirks like this!
You’re sure to have a giggle reading this story, and it’s chock a block with funny rhyming couplets about a rather cross Aunty Gyrti and a cow who won’t produce any milk! What does half a pork pie, Nain Chwilog’s glasses have to do with all this? And what will Dr Ffwlbart have to say about all this? I’ll warn you – there’s plenty of talk of cow’s bottoms, nickers and a couple of underpants! Does it get any better?
I’d imagine it’s quite difficult to come across someone who doesn't like this story. Bethan Mai's delicate pictures bring the story’s fun and mischief to life. This is a special partnership between a writer and an artist that grew naturally from a residential course at the Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre. Awesome.
These books are naturally funny and mischievous, full of silly over-the-top fun. Just what we need really. I'm looking forward to seeing which idiom or saying the Ffwlbart will be tackling next time.
I have two young cousins (who can be a bit wild at times) and it’s not always easy to settle them down for a story that really keeps their attention. I can GUARANTEE that they’ll love this one, and and fairly confident it’ll find it’s way into Santa’s stocking this year!
The 'verdict' - one of my personal 'top 5' books for 3–7-year-olds published this year. Grab yourself a copy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: SIONED WYN ROBERTS
Yn wreiddiol o Bwllheli ond wedi ymgartrefu yng Nghaerdydd, bu Sioned yn gweithio yn y maes darlledu plant ers dros ugain mlynedd. Ar hyn o bryd mae'n Gomisiynydd Cynnwys Plant yn S4C ac yn gyfrifol yn olygyddol am raglenni 'Cyw' a 'Stwnsh'. Cyn hynny, bu'n cynhyrchu ac yn uwch-gynhyrchu rhaglenni plant gyda'r BBC. Dewiswyd Sioned fel un o awduron cwrs Llenyddiaeth Cymru a Chyngor Llyfrau Cymru (Tŷ Newydd Chwefror 2019). Dyma lle datblygodd ei syniad ar gyfer y gyfres hon o lyfrau. Cred Sioned bod creu cynnwys safonol yn y Gymraeg sy'n tanio dychymyg plant ac sy'n helpu caffael iaith yn hanfodol.