All In One Piece describes Mr and Mrs Large’s preparations for having a rare night out, just the two of them. Jill Murphy’s stories about the Large family were huge favourites of mine when I was teaching and it’s lovely to share them with my daughter who finds the children’s antics very funny.
I see the books slightly differently now that I am a parent, I empathise more with the problems that Mr and Mrs Large have when they are exhausted at the end of the day or need time to themselves!
The Story: Mr and Mrs Large are going to the annual dinner dance and Granny is babysitting. Granny tries to keep the children busy while Mr and Mrs Large are getting ready but inevitably the children make it upstairs and interrupt their preparations. After sending them all downstairs Mrs Large gets ready but then goes out blissfully unaware that she has paint on the back of her dress!
I love the way that All In One Piece is laid out with the text on the right and the pictures on the left of the double page spread. The text includes quite a bit of conversation which moves the story along but it is also simple enough for beginner readers to read alone. There are amazing details in the pictures and Jill Murphy’s illustrations capture a wonderful range of expressions on the elephants’ faces. Children and adults can easily relate to the familiar setting and situation (albeit from different viewpoints!). I personally would not be too happy with Granny for keeping the children busy with painting after they have been bathed and dressed for bed but my daughter thinks it is hilarious when Mrs Large sits on the paintbox!
A great story about everyday family life, perfect for bedtime reading.
Age Range: 2 +
Author / Illustrator: Jill Murphy
My daughter always asks lots of questions about what the children are doing in A Quiet Night in. We also love Five Minutes Peace and Peace at Last which I often read to reception / year one classes.