Thursday, 30 July 2015

Picture book review : Alfie Outdoors - Shirley Hughes

We first discovered Alfie all the way back in 2011 when we reviewed All About Alfie, so the Madhouse kids were delighted to discover his latest book, Alfie Outdoors.

The title makes it sound like a summer-themed book but it actually looks at the whole year, and the 'Alfie's Year in the Garden' spread at the back of book gave us lots of interesting discussion time, looking at things that Pierre has already experienced and things that he is looking forward to later in the year. It's been years since we've managed to build a proper snowman so that was high up on his wish list, but luckily he's also looking forward to jumping in leaf piles and enjoys feeding the birds too - phew !

Pierre had his first experience of proper gardening (ie not just helping mum and dad !) at school this year and excitedly told me about how their radishes and lettuce plants were doing on a weekly basis, peering through the railings every day as we walked past the secondary school so that he could spy on the little allotment that had been given over to the infant school !

He therefore loved hearing all about Alfie growing carrots with his dad in his own little vegetable patch, patiently (or impatiently !) waiting for them to grow so that he could excitedly pull them up. 

Gardening isn't the only fun you can have outdoors though and the story explores other favourite childhood pastimes such as digging, getting muddy, building dens or just finding a quiet place in the garden to be alone. As usual, the texts are almost poetic and the charming illustrations are absolutely teeming with details to point out and talk about.

The texts are fairly long (for a picture book) but the illustrations kept Pierre glued to the page, fascinated to hear about and spot everything going on. There's even a missing goat to keep things exciting !

The Alfie books are still as charming and entertaining as we remembered them, and they have a timeless quality that remind me of my own childhood bedtime books. 

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £11.99

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head (30 July 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782300317
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782300311
  • Product Dimensions: 25.8 x 0.9 x 25.8 cm

Disclosure : We received the book for free in order to write an honest review.


  1. These books look lovely. Have not read any yet but I am sure my son would like reading :-)

  2. These books look lovely. Have not read any yet but I am sure my son would like reading :-)

  3. Lovely book, my son used to love his Alfie book when he was younger.

  4. This looks a gorgeous book, really charming. I may treat my little nephew to it.
    Angela x