Review Blog

May 10 2013

Don't let a spoonbill in the kitchen by Narelle Oliver

cover image

Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 978 1 86291 931 0
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Picture book. Australian animals. Humour. Aching to be read aloud, this rhyming tale by Narelle Oliver, sings with words and rhythm, while telling a tale of what not to let in the kitchen or laundry or airport amongst other places. The spoonbill is introduced swishing from side to side, filling his spoon with a multitude of shrimp, gathered along the beach at low tide. But the reader is warned, do not think that just because the spoonbill's spoon can mix, it does not mean that the bird should be anywhere near a kitchen. This is followed by the cormorant, the pelican, the jacana, the stilt and the osprey. Each is given a double page spread to start with, outlining the two stanzas about that particular bird, with a distinctive illustration of that bird, and then a double page follows with what instantly becomes a refrain throughout the book, with some changes as it goes along, saying where that animal should never be.
Children will enjoy the humour of the tale, join in with the refrain, revel in the delightful illustrations and be informed about some of the birds they might see in their environment.
The double pages with the refrain are exuberant, full of colour and movement, enticing the eye with its array of things illustrated, pleasing the younger eyes with a plethora of detail. I was only sad that I did not have a smaller person here to practice this book on, although my dog seemed to enjoy it.
Fran Knight

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