Review Blog

Oct 12 2016

Four silly skeletons by Mark Sperring

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Ill. by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408867143
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Humour. Skeletons. Bodies. Verse. Four silly skeletons named Fred, Sid, Belle and Bill live at the top of a very steep hill. Lucky for them their dear old Aunt June lives near the bottom of the hill and she is very sensible. The four do some very silly things, slipping on a banana skin, overfilling the bath, hitting a ball with the tennis racket and smashing a vase. But sweet Auntie June is there to put things right. One night they become entranced with the music that they hear. They dance and jive, leap and swish, all over the top of their hill. Auntie June calls out very sensibly to take a torch but they do not listen, and fall over the cliff. They become a jumble of bones at the bottom of the cliff, and Auntie June must try to put them together again. She gets out her sticky glue and attaches the bones together. But she does not do it at all correctly and the four silly skeletons are arranged a little differently.
This is a very cute rhyming cautionary tale. It reminds readers through a fun story, of taking note of your elders, of taking precautions when out at night, of watching where you are going. It will raise gales of laughter from the intended audience and readers will want to write their own 'Four silly skeletons' verse. The luminous illustrations add to the fun of the story and an astute teacher will have skeletons ready to be cut out and danced across the pin up board, and use the tale to introduce work on the body.
Fran Knight

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