Review Blog

May 06 2016

My cool plastics cupboard by Maggie Dent

cover image

Ill. by Linda True-Arrow. Pennington Publications, 2015. ISBN 9780975845684
(Ages: 1-3) Maggie Dent is a parenting writer and speaker so it is no great surprise that this seems to target parents more so than young children. It is written from the perspective of a two-year-old boy who has his own plastics cupboard filled with things that he is allowed to play with while remaining close to his Mum in the kitchen. The little boy tells us about what he can do in the plastics cupboard (sorting, stacking, exploring shapes, investing new and unusual objects and making noise), emphasising to parents the skills that children can practice through free play with the world around them (rather than expensive toys). The watercolour illustrations, while not particularly beautiful to look at, are realistic and highlight the child's wonder in the objects he finds in his cupboard.
The voice of the child is informal (with an oft repeated - but not suited to the target audience - 'How cool is that?') but it doesn't prevent it being rather bland. This is probably due to its length (it is a long story for the target age group - which is very small as older children will have no interest in a baby playing in a container cupboard) and the many subliminal 'parent messages' (eg., 'I like playing in the plastics cupboard with my mum close by' and 'My mum came over and explained that it was a whisk'). However, it is a fantastic idea to write a picture book about the container cupboards that most young children enjoy as it is such a relatable experience for them.
Nicole Smith-Forrest

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018
National Book Award winners 2017
Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 2017
YABBA Awards 2017
Teens' top 10
2017 Man Booker Prize
Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature 2017 winners
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2017
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates