Review Blog

Nov 15 2012

The gobbledygook is eating a book by Justine Clarke and Arthur Baysting

cover image

Ill. by Tom Jellett. Penguin, 2012. ISBN 978 0 670 07657 4.
(Ages: 3+) Recommended. Picture book. Reading. Readers of all ages will have a great time working out just what is meant by a gobbledygook. Is it an animal? an idea? a play on words? No matter what, it will intrigue younger readers as they hear of the giant orange thing tearing up and eating books. Howls of despair will be heard as the thing munches its way through the shelves, eating the space books, the cookery section, the dinosaurs, the circus area as well as books about the Antarctic.
In rhyming sentences, the fun of the idea of the monster eating the pages of books munching its way through the Dewey system continues unabated.
Tom Jellett's illustrations in bold colours, painted over paper splatted with colour, or looking like crushed paper, along with pencil drawings, readily reminds the reader of his previous book, My Dad thinks he's funny, with its similar humour and wit expressed through the drawings. Readers will love the antics of he gobbledydook, and have a whale of a time asking older people what the word means to them, using a dictionary and thesaurus to further investigate the word. And how lovely to have the last word of the alphabet rhyme with bed! and this may also initiate some discussion.
This would be an imaginative read a loud as well as a sound introduction to the way a library is shelved, or just a fun way to look at rhymes and rhyming. But of course, the main thing is the fun, and this book has that in spades.
Fran Knight

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