I/we just discovered the Alfie series. I was given Alfie and Grandma as a gift and really feel in love with it. This is one of the books that I put in the cuddle category. By that, I mean that it is great for snuggling up with your child and reading together. It really creates a warm atmosphere while you are reading it out loud.
It was one of those special moments where we both blocked out the world around us. We just focused on the story and each other. Initially, I was only going to read the first story but my daughter kept asking for more. It was her first ever Alfie story but she was immediately enchanted by his adventures with Grandma. The illustrations reminded her of my parent's farm. She started asking questions about the animals in the story, namely the mischievous turtles Winnie and Fred. She quickly identified with Alfie's adventures to the "North Pole" in Grandma's attic because she also loves to imagine herself as an explorer or conqueror (costumes and jerry-rigged tents are common in our house). The last story had her giggling each time I said that the sheep "baa-ed" and the map at the end made it all seem very real. We kept discussing the stories and the map for a long time after we finished reading.
I found her later studying the pictures and thinking to herself-- a sign of a very good children's book indeed! The stories are perfect for our bedtime routine (or really anytime we need to have some special mommy-time) because they are intriguing, sentimental and real. Nice.