Review Blog

Feb 27 2013

Racing Ruby by Susannah McFarlane

cover image Ill. by Lachlan Creagh. Little Mates series. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN:9781742833323.
(Ages: 3-6) This Little Mates series is beautifully Australian. Each one focuses on a different letter and a different Australian animal. In this case the letter is R and the animal is Ruby, a rainbow fish who relishes in racing around the reef. Filled with 'r' words, many of which are quintessentially Australian, this book will help to extend vocabulary, assist with phonemic awareness and help beginning readers in letter knowledge and identification. The dedication of each book to a single letter sometimes results in strange choices of vocabulary and seems to dictate the path of the storyline which in the case of Racing Ruby is more of a sequence of vaguely related information and events rather than a plot. As an alphabet and vocabulary book however Racing Ruby is a delightful small picture book with beautiful Australian and uncommon words such as rapid, ricochets, rankles, recommends, rebel, remarks, research, reeled, rattled, retrace, relax, record, reunited, ripper and regatta.
Depicted in these books is the beautiful Australian landscape amid gorgeous soft and detailed illustrations which children will love searching through for other 'r' things and will delight in the coral reef setting. These books are a great platform for initial sounds games with emerging readers and encourage the reader to relate elements of the story to their own life, thereby making some of the rich vocabulary meaningful. Each of these titles ends by posing a question to the reader, in this case 'Do you sometimes race around too?'
Nicole Smith-Forrest

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Miles Franklin longlist 2017
Reading Children's Book Prize 2017
Klaus Flugge Prize shortlist 2017
Branford Boase Award shortlist 2017
Text Prize 2017
NSW Premier Literary Awards shortlist 2017
Aurealis Awards winners
YABBA Awards shortlist 2017
Stella Prize 2017
2017 YALSA Teens' Top Ten Nominees

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates