What I Like Most


‘What I Like Most’ is apricot jam preserved in grandmother’s ‘huge copper pot’ that ‘makes her house smell of apricots for hours’. Our storyteller likes her shoes with flashing lights that allow her to ‘walk and run and jump’. She likes chips ‘when they are almost too hot.‘ Thereafter she likes this teddy who ‘is a good friend’ and this book that she ‘can say in my head and see the pictures’. What else might she like most? What do our readers like most?

We can hear our narrator’s voice, see through her window, and fill her shoes. Her experience of growing, changing, looking, feeling and enjoying the world around her are full, engaged and palpable.

Mary Murphy and Zhu Cheng-Liang have created a sensational picture book that deserves a place in every home to be shared, known and treasured.


What I Like Most

Mary Murphy, illustrated by Chu Cheng- Liang

(Walker Books)– hardback

‘What I Like Most’ changes, from oranges, to Marmite, to seaside holidays. What about the main character of this outstanding picture book? She suggests in the introduction that what she likes most ‘in the world is my window’…. ‘My window won’t change,/ but the things outside will.’  She contemplates all the changes to come outside her window, from people leaving the street, trees growing, children growing up. ‘Here at my window/ I can imagine it all./ Except for apricot jam’We turn the page to a new selection that is considerately explained. Her grandmother ‘makes it in a huge copper pot,’ and ‘her house smells of apricots for hours’. Will apricot jam remain the primary selection when we turn the page, or will it be…
‘What I Like Most‘ is a page of sensational wonder. We can smell the apricot jam! What’s more we understand the appeal of shoes with flashing lights that encourage us to ‘do a tiny bounce with every step.’ Furthermore we understand the appeal of the river which is ‘as shiny as a mirror‘ and changes with the seasons. Thereafter the appeal of a red pencil, or chips, when dipped in ketchup.
There is a confidence in this title reminiscent of Want to Play Trucks? yet this title is all its own, as the selection is the storyteller’s own. Bookwagon is entranced by the smells, suggestions, feelings, experiences and memories provoked by the words, and gentle, tonally suggestive pictures of this book. It is truly glorious!


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