Review: The Moosic Makers by Heather Pindar and Barbara Bakos.
Nutmeg and Celery love making Moo-grass music. Farmer Joni loves their music too, even though she would like them to include the sheep and donkey and other animals once in a while. But Moo-sic is a cow thing. When the barn roof is damaged, a bit of moo-sic seems the perfect way to raise some money for the farm.
Spotting Nutmeg and Celery’s potential, a music producer comes along and insists they switch their sound to dis-cow. Will the new sound give Nutmeg and Celery everything they have ever dreamed of, or will they need to rethink their plan?
A witty story about friendship, sticking to your roots and hogging the spotlight.
Nutmeg and Celery begin with confidence in their own sound. Country music is the obvious choice for a pair of cows and the duo has an established audience. Their plan is to raise enough money for the barn roof and to carry on as normal. Their encounter with a music producer may raise more money, but the barn roof doesn’t appear to be his priority.
This story offered an entertaining range of cow puns and wordplay. Moo-sic, Discow (that’s disco to us humans) and mootiny spring to mind. It would be a lovely book to encourage wordplay and introduces a range of animal sounds to young readers.
Themes of sharing and taking turns are explored. Other animals have big ideas about how to raise money for the barn and how the farmyard should sound, but it always comes back to Nutmeg and Celery. Learning to put ideas together and reach an agreed outcome is a big skill and this would be a lovely book to read ahead of group work or a shared project.
A fun, friendly story where there is as much enjoyment in the language as there is in the story. A picture book which is especially suited to a young audience.
Thanks to Maverick Arts Publishing for my copy of The Moosic Makers. Opinions my own.
Review: Shampooch by Heather Pinar and Susan Batori
Shampooch is the cleanest, prettiest, most pampered dog in the park. She declines all invites to roll in the mud and riffle through bins because she’s got an image to maintain. Then Sampooch chases after some beautiful kites and all chaos ensues.
A light-hearted and witty story about the price of maintaining a perfect image.
With young people under increasing pressure to maintain an image online, it is important that children learn from an early age not to prioritise appearance over living. Shampooch misses out on friendship and fun because she is so concerned about her fur and her hair. When she is sucked into the doggy fray, she finds it liberating.
There are extra laughs in the illustrations, especially in the contrast between aristocratic-looking Shampooch and the smelly dustbins and muddy puddles around her. We just know at some point that the two are going to meet and this keeps the reader waiting. The joke is obvious but we have to know how and when it will happen.
Maverick Arts Publishing always produces books which are friendly to the youngest picture book readers. Their books appear to be produced with a strong knowledge of what amuses and captivates children.
Move over Aristocats – Shampooch is here and she’s throwing off her collar. A lovely message and a great read.
Thanks to Maverick Arts Publishing for my gifted copy of Shampooch. Opinions my own.
Review: Froggy Day by Heather Pindar and Barbara Bakos.
The weather woman wasn’t joking when she said it was going to be froggy. There are frogs everywhere – on the farm and in the shops and in the cars and coming out of people’s hair. There are frogs everywhere!
A funny picture book which celebrates word-play.
As a small child, I often misheard and mispronounced things. Trinket-pots were treacle pots, for example, and I couldn’t imagine what all that treacle would do to the velvet-lining. As well as reassuring children that they are not alone in mishearing worlds, Froggy Day shows that mistakes can lead to great leaps in imagination.
Both text and illustration will bring young readers to laughter. The one joke runs through the text and the big question as you turn the page is where will the frogs get next? This anticipation leads to increased amusement when the question is answered.
This would be a lovely book to encourage wordplay and art. After reading, it would be lovely for children to make their own maps of unusual (imaginative) weather.
A humorous book which will appeal to young readers. Prepare to be bombarded with plays on words.
Many thanks to Maverick Arts Publishing for my copy of Froggy Day. Opinions my own.