Review Blog

Mar 14 2012

There's a hole in my bucket sung by The Topp Twins (singers)

cover image

Ill. by Jenny Cooper. Scholastic, New Zealand ISBN 9781775430469.
Henry the goat has a hole in his bucket. When he tells Liza the duck she tells him to fix it, but unclever Henry cannot. There's a problem with every solution Liza offers. This is a retelling of the classic song that little people love to sing, but instead of the dirge I've listened to hundreds of times over the years, this one is brought to life by the hilarious illustrations of Jenny Cooper. Not for this Liza the dutiful role of the patient partner - this one gets cranky and frustrated. Henry's face when she suggests that he cut the straw with an axe is wonderful and Liza's frustration is clearly apparent. The final picture has to express the feelings of many a mother and a teacher at various times.
The edge that this book has over other versions (apart from the accompanying CD) is that it is perfect for early reading activities. Apart from the repetitive text that encourages the children to join in, the pictures provide an opportunity to help the children consider how Liza is feeling and start to develop both empathy and expression. It's also an opportunity to introduce them to new vocabulary like 'frustrated' and to expand their lexicon with synonyms for 'mad' and 'angry'.
Miss Just-Started-Kindy was thrilled that she could read it by herself very quickly but my greatest delight was watching Grandad being coerced into the role of Henry, while she could have won an Oscar for her portrayal of Liza.
Share this book with your youngest students and you will hear the song being sung (and acted) in the playground for days.
Barbara Braxton

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