Review Blog

Sep 18 2013

What's the matter, Aunty May? by Peter Friend

cover image

Ill. by Andrew Joyner. Little Hare, 2012. ISBN 9781921714535.
(Age: 4+) Picture book. Humour. Verse story. Grandparents. In four line verses, the story tells of the mayhem caused by the hero of the book as he helps his long suffering aunt clean the house. While Aunty May plays her harp in the background, her nephew sweeps the floor, but manages to put the broom the screen door. While she fixes the door, he manages to smash an expensive vase.He washes up, only to smash one of her teacups, then dusting the highest shelves see red ink spilt across Aunty. He vacuums, slurping up the budgie, which when it finally escapes, leaves dust all over the lounge, before landing in Aunty's hair. Mayhem continues with Aunty becoming more frantic at what her nephew can possibly do next.
With the house full of water, mirrors cracked, Aunty's clothing and hair somewhat awry, the nephew leaves her house with a jaunty reminder that he will see her next day.
The verses will be a treat to read out loud, and readers will love reading them to themselves, using different voices and inflections to increase their mirth.
However it is used, it will be engaging, and the illustrations will augment what is happening in the tale. Joyner's perception of the nephew as a sweet looking, bow tied young man is priceless, and his looks at the reader will engage all readers to follow his destruction of the house.
Fran Knight

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