Review Blog

Aug 13 2015

The off-limits fence by Danny Katz

cover image

Ill. by Mitch Vane. Little Lunch Series. Black Dog Books, 2015. ISBN 9781742032375
(Age: middle primary) Highly recommended. School, Rules. For those readers looking for a chapter book laced with a dose of humour and a familiar theme, Danny Katz's funny stories about school life revolving around that fifteen minute break in the middle of the morning will be just the thing. The first of these stories appeared in 2001 and now appear on ABC 3 TV so will have a ready audience for this new tale.
This book contains three short stories, each about twenty pages long. The first of these, The bench that goes in a circle round the big old tree, uses the hilarious theme of Chinese whispers to perfection as the children begin a story which is embellished along the way. Once around the circle, it keeps going as each child adds another small change to it, making it more and more exciting and preposterous.
The two other stories, The equipment shed and The off-limits fence, both employ the range of students introduced in the first story getting themselves into a range of different activities. The equipment shed has a range of creepy crawlies deigned to keep readers interested and laughing, while the last story shows what happens when Rory plays an entire football match in the little lunch near that off limits fence.
The jaunty illustrations by Mitch Vane add to the craziness of the stories and add faces to the characters the readers will instantly love.
Fran Knight

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