Review Blog

Aug 07 2014

Tortoise and the hair by P. Crumble and Louis Shea

cover image

Scholastic, 2014. ISBN 9781743625286.
(Age: 4-6) Picture book. Humour. Rhyming verse. Folk tale. This parody of the tale The tortoise and the hare will have young readers laughing out loud as they read this take on the old story, where Tortoise is searching for his hair to put on his head when he plays in the local singing competition. He has passed his audition and now needs to dress himself in the same way, but where is his wig?
There follows a funny tale as Tortoise searches high and low for his hairy accessory. From under the bed to under the table, Tortoise cannot find the thing, and feels desolate that he cannot sing without it. He finally finds it on the bus, but it slips from his fingers. His friends join the search but at the gig, he realises that he does not need this prop to win, his own voice will do the trick.
A charming tale of not needing to dress in a special way to do well, of image not being the most important thing, the rhyming verses will bring laughter to a group listening or joining in. I love the play on words of hare and hair, and the words used in the verses to rhyme (rendition and audition, for example) because this tale will increase a child's vocabulary and interest in language. The bright illustrations add to the overall fun of the book and children will perhaps look at some of the talent shows on television with a more critical eye.
Fran Knight

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