Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 2
Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? Edward Lear’s classic poem is retold with word substitutions. For example a “beautiful pea-green boat” becomes a “bright green sailing boat” and the “Turkey who lives on the hill” is now the “Kangaroo up on the hill.” The classic tale remains the same with an owl and cat setting out to sea and getting married. The end pages have several activities including a seek and find and instructions for a dance. The cartoon-like illustrations in bright colors will appeal to young readers.
Anything you didn’t like about it? I didn’t really understand the need to re-verse the original tale. Although it might make sense to change some less well-known words such as a five-pound note and shillings, many of the re-versed words are unnecessary. Why change “They took some honey and plenty of money” to “They took some toys and things to make noise,” and the “Piggy” to a “giant bull”and the “Bong Tree” to a “Doodle Tree?” Edward Lear’s beautiful poetic verse and nonsense words are easily depicted in illustrations in other retellings. This is an unnecessary retelling of a classic.
To whom would you recommend this book? Teachers and parents will also enjoy the further activities at the end of the book.
Who should buy this book? Large Public libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture Books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA
Date of review: 10/23/16