Review Blog

Sep 02 2014

Howzat! by Mike Lefroy

cover image

Ill. by Liz Amelli. Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9781922077646.
Starting in England, the children are playing cricket on a warm summer's day. The game is then followed in rhyming stanzas around the world, taking in a range of other countries, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and South Africa, where cricket is played, and some like the USA, where it is in its infancy.  Other places children may not have heard of, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh and Kenya for example. Each is given a double page spread showing a range of things which are recognisably part of that country. Each double page has that country's flag somewhere and some animals and flora are there to be searched for. Looking for hints about each country, takes on a version of Where's Wally, which will engross readers.
A nice touch are the endpapers which include a map of where the book travels, the name of that country (at the last endpaper) and its flag, encouraging the possibility of a class quiz.
I really enjoyed reading this book with its zany illustrations, showing how cricket is played around the world, showcasing different aspects of the countries where it is played and teasing the reader into looking more closely at the illustrations to find all that is hidden therein.
Classes will be able to use this as a springboard to looking at other countries of the world, map work, and what brings countries closer together.
Fran Knight

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