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Tiffany Markman latest feb 13. jpgreviewed Tiffany Markmanmom to a two-year-old, tries to balance her workaholism with cuddling her daughter, reading books, consuming caffeine & reining in her intrinsic kugelry. Follow her on twitter.

I’ve said this before: book reviewers get jaded. We’re lucky enough to receive new books often; to regularly get to open cardboard boxes filled with the smell of freshly published paper. So there’s usually very little to make us squeal with delight – until we get into the book itself, that is.

Hoo-boy. The universe was just waiting to see what I would do when it sent me all four of Anita Pouroulis’s debut titles, packaged in a gorgeous re-usable purple satchel. I squealed. No jokes.

But, let’s get to the details, shall we?

What’s it about?
I selected Oh, What a Tangle! that very night, for my littlie’s bedtime story. Moms, if your kid has curly hair or hates having his/her hair brushed, buy this book. Because little Kiki’s ‘crowning glory’, horribly neglected in favour of activities that are more fun, soon turns into an actual birds’ nest.oh what a tangle

How does it look?
The illustrations are spectacular; the work, I’m told, of student illustrator Monika Filipina Trzpil, who is completing the Master of Arts (MA, Children’s Book Illustration) programme at Anglia Ruskin University in the UK.

How does it read?
The words are equally lovely. It all rhymes and the general flow is melodic. I may be alone in this, but a bedtime story that rhymes (even when it’s a long-ish one) is easier and more pleasant to read.

Aside: For me, as a writer, the cadence of the writing and rhyme does feel a little erratic in parts (my husband, also a writer, has moaned that it doesn’t scan perfectly) – but my kidlet and I still love the book, and its unusual vocab, so who cares?

What else?
And then, there are the apps! Oh, What a Tangle! is available in the iBookstore, the App Store and for Google Play. I’ve not downloaded it yet, but other moms’ reviews are effusive. Having apps to complement the bedtime experience is great, especially since my toddler (who is 2) likes to see her favourite characters everywhere.

Just one more thing
Anita Pouroulis is an ex-South African living in Spain. The pluses for us, as SA readers, are that her stories use the more UK/SA ‘mum’ and other lingo and that her apps (apparently) feature British-accented narration. What a lovely change!

Note: If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the uniquely detailed free weekly newsletter for parents in Gauteng – Jozikids – or KwaZulu-Natal – Kznkids.

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