Review Blog

May 20 2015

Hop up! Wriggle over! by Elizabeth Honey

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781743319987
(Age: Early childhood) Recommended. Australian Animals, Bed time, Daily activities. Nine bouncing baby Australian animals roll across each of the pages in this enchanting look at the activities a family undertakes during a day. From getting up with parents, kangaroo and koala tugged awake by their hungry offspring, to bed time where all sleep the sleep of the exhausted after a fun packed day children will scream with delight recognising the things they do with their own families.
Each double page shows a different activity that a family would do during an ordinary day. Breakfast after waking will delight the readers with the words, 'crunch, crunch, gobble gobble, lick lick, more' over the illustrations showing the family enjoying eating in their own special way. Then they get on their transporters to find their way to the park and have a picnic, first having fun on the play equipment. After the picnic, play again occurs, then the kangaroo calls the family together to go home. Picking salad vegetables for tea causes mayhem, but tea is even more messy, with 'chomp, chomp, munch, munch, slurp, slurp, errp' written over the illustrations. Bath time then snuggling down to bed completes this representation of family life.
Read aloud, the playful words will encourage children to recognise and join in, marveling at the new words they can say. Looking closely at the illustrations too will encourage their participation in the story and they will delight in the touches of humour along the way. I loved the warmth displayed by everyone, and the small touches, like the echidna being picked up by the kangaroo, or the bigger animals helping the smaller ones, all lend themselves to discussions about families and getting along as well as routines and some less common Australian animals.
The soft watercolour drawings are impressive in in their simplicity, giving an impression of each animal with panache and will make this book even more appealing as the readers endeavour to find the nine animals on each page
Fran Knight

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