by Shirley Hughes
32 pages, 2009
Alfie is a four-year-old boy with a little sister named Annie Rose. This charming little chap likes to help mom, visit grandma, and take his blanket everywhere. Author, Shirley Hugues, understands the world of children and understands that small stories are big for them. For example, getting a new pair of rubber boots is a quite an event for a boy who loves to stamp in puddles (see Alfie's Feet).
In Alfie Gets in First the little man dashes by his mom to get inside first, and then, when mom goes back outside to get Annie Rose, Alfie slams the front door and accidentally locks everyone out.
Hughes is a wonderful illustrator and makes great use here of the reader being able to see what's happening on both sides of the door. On the one side we see mom, and soon the neighbors too, encouraging Alfie to reach for the door handle. But Alfie is too short, so on the other side we see him putting his own plan into action. When he does manage to get the door open Alfie is a hero, and a celebration over tea and cookies is had with all the neighbors who tried to help.
There is a lot of text on some pages, but if your children can sit still for 10 minutes there is more than enough detail in the pictures to give them lots to look at. Our family hasn't read all the Alfie books yet, but we sure have loved the ones we've seen.