Review Blog

Jun 23 2015

Chu's day at the beach by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408864357
(Age: Junior primary) Recommended. Seaside, Animals, Sneezing. When Chu sneezes, everyone knows about it because the results of the sneeze makes big changes in the world around him. The first page warns of the ferocity of Chu's sneeze, so it is no surprise when he and his family go to the beach that he has quite an impact. This is the third book in the series about Chu, a baby panda with his panda family, charmingly illustrated by Adam Rex. The first two, Chu's day, and Chu's first day at school introduced the little fellow to the audience. An endearing black eyed baby peers out from the pages, ensuring the readers follow his exploits.
This story sees the family going to the beach on a hot sunny day. Chu's mother settles down to read a book while Chu's dad paddles in the water. But Chu, eating his ice cream takes off his glasses and has the most enormous of sneezes. It causes the water to roll back exposing the fish beneath. The gap in the sea means that some animals cannot go back to their own home, while others look sad at what is happening. The people on the beach urge Chu to sneeze again reversing what he has done, and some funny ways of inducing his sneeze are used, until the snail crawls up and reminds Chu about the effect of the sun.
This is a lovely story of being at the beach with all the things children experience there. It will initiate stories about days at the beach from some children and will spark others' interest. There is lots for readers to find on each page to remind them of what they may see at the beach, and Rex has included a few surprises. Discussion about the role of sneezing could emanate from this book, allowing a classroom to discuss manners.
Fran Knight

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