Review Blog

Nov 15 2012

Tell me about your day today by Mem Fox

cover image

Ill. by Lauren Stringer. Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 9781 74283 578 5.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Picture book. Family. When the little boy goes to bed after a kiss, a story and the last goodnight, he talks to his toys, asking them in turn about their day. Each responds similarly, 'the who, the what, the why and the way, the whole wild thing turned out okay'. He asks the goose, the blue horse, the fat rabbit, and they all respond in turn, finally asking the little boy what his day was like. The rhyme and repetition is infectious and will delight younger readers, when they realise that they are able to join in and follow the story. I can imagine groups of children repeating the phrases as they come along, adding more pages to the book to include some more animals that they may have at home.
The celebration of the boy's friendship, of his imaginative play with his animals, of the cosy feel of the boy and his toy animals snuggled up in bed is comforting and warm. The illustrations depict a scenario which parallels the toys' responses to the boy's questions. We see the goose caught in the rain with her pink umbrella, we see the horse frightened by the lightning, snuggling under the blanket which the goose brings for him, we see the rabbit falling in a puddle then being hung out to dry, only to fall from the clothesline and have a band aid placed on its behind. The boy then reprises the whole activity with his animals, as we see him up the tree with the goose, hiding from the lightning with his mum, going under the blanket with the horse, and playing in the puddle with the rabbit. The friends did indeed have a great day which turned out okay. The illustrations will delight younger children as they search for the things mentioned in the text, and find more besides. They will recognise the design of the endpapers, and compare the boy's pyjamas with their own, and talk about what they do on a wintry day when it rains with thunder and lightning. A lovely, unpretentious book to read aloud on a wet day indoors.
Fran Knight

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