Review Blog

Jun 04 2014

Possum's big surprise by Colin Buchanan

cover image

Ill. by Nina Rycroft. Scholastic, 2014. ISBN 9781742839271.
(Age: 3-5) Warmly recommended. Australian animals, Rhyming stories, Birthdays. The beautiful soft water colours make this story sing. Flossy the possum skips across the title page, then the publications page until she is finally in the story. She is hurrying home, but is detoured by the range of animals she meets. Each second page ends with 'When all of a sudden', and kids will love reading this line above all, out loud, imagining the creature that will follow.
In rhyming stanzas, the words beg to be read out loud, with repetition adding to the suspense of turning the pages.
And Rycroft has illustrated this text with verve. Kids will adore her animals, softly furred and placed with their trees and bushes, wrapping things for the last page, giving a hint of what is to come. The illustrations dance across the pages like the possum, taking space that necessitates the text moving in different ways. Beautiful trees hang across pages, while ants scurry to their home with their find for the day.
The front page with animals peeking form behind the tree is paralleled on the back cover, where we see the back view. Kids will love the humour in the illustrations, and the fun with the words.
This is a wonderful combination of a fun filled text marrying exquisite illustrations, making a humorous book that will appeal to a cross section of children at home, in the library or classroom.
Fran Knight

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