Review Blog

Jul 22 2008

Two by two and a half by David Melling

cover image

Hodder Children's Books, 2008.
(Age 3-8) 'Follow the leader, follow the path, Two by two and a half' sang Miss Moo Hoo' as she led her class out for a walk in the woods. Everyone had a partner except Little Bat Jack who bravely walked at the end of the line while the others hold onto Miss Moo Hoo's tail. Rabbit heard a strange sound. Could it be a rumbling tummy or could it be a lion? No, it was Little Bat Jack and he didn't count. More strange noises were felt and seen and although the children imagined a troubling dragon and rampaging ragamuffins, each time it was Little Bat Jack who had collected mud and leaves in his struggle to keep up with the party. Then a fierce bear appears and it is Little Bat Jack who saves the day.
David Melling's illustrations are wonderful. The zany animal characters of the nursery party contrast with the huge and frightening pictures of the lion, dragon and ragamuffins. The bear is truly awesome and Melling has perfectly captured its fear of the strange leaf-covered Little Bat Jack. The refrain in the story is very catchy and children will have fun singing along with the animals.
A great book to read aloud and to listen to time and again, with a subtle message that small people can be heroes.
Pat Pledger

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