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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Stripes! No, Spots! by Vasanti Unka

Vasanti Unka is starting to make a big name for herself. She has designed and illustrated Hill and Hole which won the Russell Clark Award for best illustrated children's book from LIANZA in 2011, as well as the best designed book from BPNZ in the same year. Her own book, The Boring Book, won NZ Children's Book Awards in 2014.

Stripes! No, Spots! is about a Tiger and a Leopard who disagree with each other. They start to fight and cause a lot of uproar. However, the Jungle Council called a meeting to sort their differences.

There is a lot to like about Stripes! No, Spots! It's design and illustrations are again right up there. There is a lot of detail in every page, from words to pictures. The array of different kinds of animals in the book was also a hit with the kids in my class. It uses just the right amount of humour without forcing it and even David Attenborough makes an appearance (which got me very excited!...kids had no idea).

Definitely a book to be picked up. Ages 4-10. While the story could be too simple for the older children, there is still a lot of vocabulary here for them to learn.

4 Stripes (no, Spots!) out of 5.

The Dinosaur that Pooped the Bed by Tom Fletcher & Dougie Poynter

The Dinosaur that Pooped the Bed is a long line of other books in this series. Technically they called the Danny and Dinosaur series, but every single one of them involved poop.

I first encounter this series when I reviewed The Dinosaur that Pooped the Past, which I found quite favourite, so I picked up The Dinosaur that Pooped the Bed.

Even though I had read a previous Danny and Dinosaur book, I thought that this one would have been about bed time problems. Something that young children could relate to and help them overcome it.

No.

This is about Danny who isn't allowed to watch TV until he has tidied his room. Instead of actually cleaning his room, he has a not so bright idea of getting his dinosaur to eat everything instead of cleaning it up. Well, you probably know where this story is headed to.

I read this to my class. Usually kids love toilet/poop humour. Baa Baa Smart Sheep is a brilliantly written book whose whole story revolves around poop! Initially my kids were intrigued; I'm not sure if it was the story, the pictures or both combined, but as class, they didn't enjoy it. It was too disgusting.

Sure, a couple of kids thought it was funny, but there were no cries of read it again, nor did anyone pick it up during SSR time.

Redeeming features? The illustrations are good. Nice and vivid.

If you want to check out Danny and Dinosaur, perhaps start with a different one.