Review Blog

Mar 31 2017

Our (last) trip to the market by Lorin Clarke

cover image

Ill. by Mitch Vane. Allen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781925266962
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Market, Families, Shopping, Fruit and vegetables, Humour. With the word 'last' shown as an addition in the title, readers will be warned that chaos lurks inside.
Mum and her six kids go to the market to get some potatoes and stock for their stew, but while there a range of things is looked at both by mum and the kids, some of which invites unruly behaviour. They see a clown and a dog, a bakery and a boy on his bike, a busker, coffee, an organic shop with bags of lentils, cakes, lots of fruit, particularly watermelon, a magic shop and a flower shop. But the humour lies in what the children do while at the market. In rhyming stanzas the tale unfolds with mum having to call them away from the mayhem they are causing. The wonderfully lively illustrations show them taking the clown's rabbit out of his hat, taking away the dog, digging into the lentils, overturning the vases of flowers, until mum calls them to order with a stompity stomp and they head for the car to go to Grandma's place for tea. The rhymes reveal the range of food stuffs at the market as well as incorporating the children's names, Anouk, Maximilian, Annabelle, Serenity, Alexander and Sam with ingenious rhymes. The contrast between the children's faces and the faces of the long suffering market traders adds another level of humour and a small joke at the end, first by the children, then by mum, will further delight the audience. Vane's illustrations underline the humour of the story, adding another set of things to laugh at and follow as the story is read. And I love the watermelon endpapers, keeping alive the presentation of fresh fruit and vegetables available at the market, underscoring the work done in the classroom about good food.
Fran Knight

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