Monday, April 2, 2018

Two new picture books for reading aloud…

I Am Jellyfish by Ruth Paul, Penguin Random House NZ

Fancy writing a story about a jellyfish! But here she is on the front cover, soft and white and blobby, smiling peacefully at us. What’s more, put her in a dark room and she’ll glow in the dark, along with the other fish and jellyfish in the picture…

In rhyming text we read the story of a big hungry swordfish swooping down to eat our drifting jellyfish. She hastily sinks down into the dark – but the swordfish follows her! He suddenly becomes prey in his turn – he’s grabbed by an enormous squid. When he implores the jellyfish to help him, she and her fellow floaters sting the squid until he lets go. “I am what I am,” comments the enigmatic jellyfish at the end of the story.

The double-spread deep-sea illustrations are entrancing. Children of about four to seven will pore over them. The bright colours, dense backgrounds, and the cruisy text make this a great read-aloud for groups and classes.

ISBN 978 0 14 377115 9 RRP $19.99 Pb

Dig, Dump, Roll by Sally Sutton, illus. Brian Lovelock, Walker Books Australia

There are three previous books in this Roadworks series, all with a similar format and all beloved by small preschool boys. So it’s like revisiting a favourite book when you open the cover of this one.

Again, Sally has used abbreviated phrases, onomatopoeia and repetition to imitate the construction noises: “Bang-a-shudder, Clang-a-shudder, what’s at work? Here’s a clue: it will dig big holes for you.” Bulldozer, digger, dump truck, roller, concrete mixer, builders – they’re all here. Brian’s brightly-coloured, strong-lined illustrations (done with acrylic inks) will appeal to a whole new cohort of small boys. Naturally, it will make a fabulous read-aloud in preschool centres.

ISBN 978 1 760650 05 6 RRP $27.99  Hb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

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