Old Macdonald Had a Farm sung by the Topp Twins, pictures by Jenny Cooper, Scholastic NZ
It must be Christmas soon because Scholastic have started releasing their usual batch of illustrated songbooks. When I first looked at this one I thought they must have surely already done this well-known song – but no, the imprint says First Published in 2017. The words are the traditional ones so everyone of any age can sing along. The magic of the book lies in Jenny Cooper’s friendly and funny animal pictures – which also offer some subtle humour that children will be able to spot with a bit of encouragement. A great addition to the sing-along collections of pre-school centres and primary schools.
PS. Over 320,000 copies sold of the first five titles by this talented team!
ISBN 978 1 77543 498 6 RRP $18.99 Pb
Row, Kiwi, Row Your Boat, illus. Stevie Mahardhika, sung by Pio Terei, Maori lyrics by Ngaere Roberts, Scholastic NZ
Here’s another one in the popular series which includes If You’re a Kiwi and You Know It, and The Kiwi Hokey Tokey. Three cheeky and cheerful kiwi row their boat down the stream and to the ocean, looking for a taniwha. They check in with lots of animals and birds on the way, but they don’t realise – until the end – that the taniwha is shadowing them all the way. There’s a grand party to finish it all off. The text of the song is provided in English and Maori, and both versions are sung on the CD.
There’s also a glossary of Maori words inside the back cover. The illustrations are big and bright and bold, and would be good for displaying to a group of pre-schoolers or younger primary-aged children.
ISBN 978 1 77543 493 1 RRP $18.99 Pb
Stink-o-saurus by Deano Yipadee and Paul Beavis, Scholastic NZ
The well-known team who gave us Jingle Bells, Rudolph Smells, and Nee Naw the Little Fire Engine have produced another song that’s going to be outrageously popular with the younger set – because its story centres on farts. Not just ordinary farts – huge stinky dinosaur farts. Stan is upset because the other dinosaurs won’t play with him because of his smells. But a massive T-Rex terrorizes the community – and guess who’s got the perfect weapon to get rid of the monster?? The cartoon illustrations are full of colour, detail and action, perfectly matching the over-the-top enthusiasm of Deano singing on the CD. One word of warning – small boys will roll on the floor shrieking and girls will giggle madly when they hear the story, so you have to be a brave teacher or parent to try to read the book in a public space. Best for ages 3-7.
ISBN 978 1 77543 473 3 RRP $18.99 Pb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman