Review Blog

May 24 2011

Don't wake the beastie by Dawn Casey

cover image

Ill. by Kirsteen Harris-Jones, Bloomsbury, 2011. ISBN 978 14088 00027.
The animals spy a hive at the top of the tree, full of lovely dripping honey. But it is too high for any of them to climb up and get, and there is a beastie asleep beneath the tree that none of them wishes to wake. What to do? Each tries in turn, the one climbing up on the shoulders of the one before. The donkey, pig, the lamb, the dog and the chook all climb onto each other's backs in an attempt to get the honey but inevitably their tower collapses, waking the beastie.
A wonderful tale of co-operation, endeavour and achievement, this book will be well used in classes in the junior primary school as a lead in to discussions about those values. The repetition of the sentences will encourage children to predict what is going to happen next as well as multiply their involvement and interest in the story and the words. I loved the way the words are not prescriptive, the author using an array of words, some of which will be unfamiliar but will help create an atmosphere where new words can be discussed. She also uses words about the animals which will be used by the astute teacher in talking about animals in the classroom. The illustrations are infectious, funny and fluid, with the words spaced across the page underlining the movement of the animals and the story.
Fran Knight

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