Review Blog

Nov 06 2018

Total quack up ed. by Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck

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Penguin, 2018, ISBN 9780143794905
(Age: 7-10) Themes: Humour. Short stories. Total quack up is a fabulous, humorous collection of short stories written by some of the best Australian children's authors. Authors and editors Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck have gathered these tales to help support the Dymocks Children's Charities raising money to promote children's literacy initiatives.
Deborah Abela's 'How to be a superhero' starts the collection with an eight-year-old girl Ann Small who has big ambitions. She wants to be named Arabella von Champion, a superhero destined for greatness. Unfortunately for this brave youngster who wants to fly, a cape is of little help when jumping off the garage roof! Tristan Banks writes of the plight of the World's Worst Junior Football Team: the Kings Bay Pigs are proud of their record amount of losses. With Nan as their coach handing out scones at halftime and their boar mascot Jeffrey, Banks plays up the porcine jokes and adds a surprise ending.
Jacqueline Harvey's writes about the pandemonium of pet-sitting and R A Spratt brings the story of Pigeralla to life. Matt Stanton's story of Summer the hippopotamus who just wants to swim at the beach closed because of a shark sighting is another fun tale. Young writer Ella Wallace won the Kid's WB competition and Total quack up concludes with her fun story 'Who blocked up the dunny?'
One note of concern is the inclusion of parent's physical rebukes of their children. James Foley's sketches add to the fun and excitement. Slapstick antics, gross body humour and plenty of silliness make each story just right to read aloud, to share with a family or middle primary class.
Rhyllis Bignell

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