Review Blog

Feb 01 2015

Itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss

cover image

Sung by Deborah Mailman. Ill. by Kerry Argent. Scholastic, 2015. ISBN 9781742839776
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Humour, Beach, Bikini, Australian animals, Body image. What a wonderful song to listen to and sing along within a class, a wonderful song to learn and reprise in the classroom or for other classes, a wonderful song to discuss and perform. This song first sung in 1960, (people of my vintage will recognise it readily, singing along with the CD) is given a new brightness by Deborah Mailman's wonderful voice, and illustrated with verve and vibrancy by the award winning illustrator Kerry Argent, making it a must for the new year with smaller children. All the fun of someone a little embarrassed at wearing her new bathers for the first time is given full reign in the illustrations, making the story immediately recognisable for the listeners. A wonderful discussion starter about body image.
The expressions on the faces of all the animals is sublime, adding another level of empathy, while the playfulness of all the animals is infectious. The many animals will be a boon for some classes studying Australian animals and for even younger people, a learning tool about our fauna.
This hard cover book with the CD inside the front cover will be well used in schools, using both the song and the illustrations as discussion starters and enabling kids to sing along with gusto.
The shy hippo is the perfect model for the bikini, and the last picture in the book had me laughing out loud.
Fran Knight

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