Posts Tagged ‘Farm animals’

DUCK by Meg McKinlay and Nathaniel Eckstrom.

May 18, 2018 Comments off

duckDUCK by Meg McKinlay and Nathaniel Eckstrom. Pub. Walker Books, 2018.

On a lazy Kansas summer afternoon Duck comes running over the hill yelling DUCK.

Pig, horse, cow and sheep misunderstand. They think that Duck thinks that they too are ducks. They all fob Duck off with answers that make it quite clear to Duck that they are nothing like a duck.

It is Kansas when all said and done and Dorothy Gale would have known what Duck meant. See if you can pick what is going to happen?

Duck understands that he yelled the wrong word.

The illustrations are great. Horse looks suitably long faced, cow looks bemused, sheep is suitably arrogant and pig is reconciled for what may happen while enjoying his mucky environment. Duck is full of concern, the caring little soul.

A good laugh and read-aloud for juniors. Adults will see the bigger picture although some may not.

AniMalcolm by David Baddiel.

November 15, 2016 Comments off

animalcolmAniMalcolm by David Baddiel. Pub HarperCollins, 2016.

This quirky novel about identity for primary and intermediate students is absurdly clever. It combines the poo bum weez humour of writers like Paul Jennings and Andy Griffith but adds a satirical dimension that will make older readers smile too.

Malcolm lives in a home loaded with animals but he cares nothing for them and doesn’t know why. Everybody else in his family loves animals why not him? Was it the fact that the chimpanzees threw poo over him when he visited the zoo, or something else?

Malcolm goes to visit Orwell Farm with his class and encounters a goat with big eyes named  K-Pax. He stares into the eyes of the guru like goat, falls asleep and when he wakes he is a turtle lying on his back. Horrors.

In turn he changes into a cat, then a sheep and other animals before becoming a pigeon. He learns that every time he goes to sleep he wakes up as the last animal he saw.

How will he become a human again.? What will he learn about being an animal? Read it and find out.

Simple to read, clever illustrations and lots of laughs.


The Moon & Farmer McPhee by Margaret Mahy Illustrated by David Elliot

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

The Moon & Farmer McPhee by Margaret Mahy. Illus. David Elliot. Pub. Random House, 2010.

A lovely picture book this which will no doubt be a contender in the children’s book awards next year. A new combination of writer and illustrator and a successful one at that.

Simple plot centred on the effects of the moon on both animals and man and a bit of the old message of “taking it easy and appreciating the world around you”.

The cover and early pages show a rather sad looking farmer McPhee, with all the worries of the world going round in his head, plodding  home, head down and pitchfork over his shoulder. The animals are looking at a wonderful moon and show concern for  farmer McPhee, who is oblivious of the beauty around him.

The joy of the animals whisking and frisking in the moonlight wakens Farmer McPhee who is at first angry, but then sees the beauty of the moonlit world around him and then joins the animals in their wild wonder.

Margaret Mahy’s written text  as always is inspiring.  Factual and whimsical, using rhyme and alliteration to the fullest effect. She creates a happy world that children will love to hear read to them over and over again and also to read themselves. It’s what you expect of Margaret Mahy.

David Elliot’s illustrations are masterful. He creates the magic of the countryside, the joy of the animals and the madness of the moon wonderfully well. The unity of written text and illustrations is absolute.

The foldout middle pages and barndoor ending will get children physically involved with the story.

Just perfect.

An essential purchase for all primary school libraries, and a great read-a-loud for juniors.

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