Review Blog

Oct 03 2013

Xylophone Xavier by Susannah McFarlane

cover image

Ill. by Lachlan Creagh. Little Mates series. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 9781742837413.
(Ages 4+) Alphabet books, Australian animals. Xavier is a Xiphias gladius (which is an extremely tricky way of saying swordfish). Xavier loves xylophones - he has sixty!
Susannah McFarlane is down to the tricky letters of the alphabet and x is a particularly interesting one. According to wiki answers there are 132 'x' words, whilst Oxford online lists 120 'x' words in use today. The author has taken up the challenge for the Little Mates series by relying on the standard fare of xylophones and x-rays and adding words with 'x' anywhere in the word.
Xavier the xylophonist has four friends Xander, Xeni, Xenos and Xanthe who help him x-ray his collection of xylophones. Hidden inside one is a secret map with an X marking the spot of the hidden treasure.
This book is more challenging than the others because of the words and phrases used, for example - 'an exhilarating extravaganza, exacting, exquisite, exhibition'. These all need to be explained to the listener, they are not part of their normal vocabulary.
This Little Mate Series book is more suited to a young child from 4 years and up.
Rhyllis Bignell

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