Review Blog

Nov 10 2016

Sleigh ride by L. Anderson and M. Parish

cover image

Ill. by Matt Shanks. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760276928
(Age: 3+) Recommended. CD of music included. The iconic song Sleigh ride, music composed by Leroy Anderson and lyrics by Mitchell Parris, is given an Australian look by the Illustrator Matt Shanks. People who listen to the CD included will immediately recognise the tune and will want to sing along with it. The song by Human Nature and featuring Jessica Mauboy is catchy and will have toes tapping and children wanting to learn the words.
Matt Shanks has illustrated an Aussie version with the sleigh turning into a trailer carrying Australian animals and birds, all having a lovely time in the sunshine under an umbrella. The familiar Ring-a-ling-a-ling-ah-ding-dong-ding is featured with two little koalas in bathing costumes just about to buy an ice-cream from the ice-cream van that its bell ringing. The reader then finds out that the ice-cream van is what is pulling the trailer (sleigh) and that there is a lot of fun to be had with an Aussie Christmas.
The humorous pictures are a delight and will have the reader chuckling along with the misadventures of the cute little Australian animals and there will be a lot of thought and discussion about the differences between the cold world that the song conjures up and the hot world that the illustrator brings to life.
This is a book that will bring a smile to the faces of its readers and the music from the CD will be a great addition to have for Christmas festivities.
Pat Pledger

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