Review Blog

Feb 13 2020

The Creature Choir by David Walliams

cover image

Illus. by Tony Ross. HarperCollins, 2019. ISBN: 9780008262198. 32pp., hbk.
Warble the walrus loved to sing and her dream was to one day take part in The Great Big Animal Talent Show. Sadly though, her warbling was somewhat less than melodic - in fact it was shocking - and eventually the other walruses banned her from ever singing again. While this made Warble very sad, she tried hard to stay silent but she just couldn't and burst into song. The consequences were disastrous - she caused an avalanche and everyone was buried in deep snow. So while Warble slept that night they all crept away leaving her alone. But she continued to warble and that attracted a lot of other creatures who also liked to sing but whose voices were also a little rough around the edges. Warble never said no to any of them and soon they had a choir, one that sang all around the world and was finally ready to enter The Great Big Animal Talent Show!
Being one of those with a voice like Warble who liked to sing but whose singing seemed to offend everyone (even strangers on a bus trip in the middle of nowhere at midnight!) this story really resonated with me. Being about being true to yourself and doing what you love just for the sheer joy of it, not because you believe you are the best (or even want to be) epitomises the feeling behind the mantra "Dance like nobody's watching!" This would be the most wonderful story to have the children imagine and make the noises the various creatures would, and create their own choir that sings and dances just for joy. There could be all sorts of ways to explore tone and rhythm and how they can combine to make something that is pleasing to the ear while just having fun!
Barbara Braxton

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