Review Blog

Aug 26 2014

Florentine and Pig and the Spooky Forest Adventure by Eva Katzler and Jess Mikhail

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Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408824399.
(Age 3+) Florentine and Pig were sound asleep on a quiet, still dark night when suddenly they are woken by the most ghostly noise. Is it the sound of the Growling, Prowling Bog Mog? Together they decide to venture outdoors to find it so it will never frighten them again. So equipped with their cosiest sleeping bags, biggest binoculars, brightest torch, warmest hat and their camping cooking stove they set off on their adventure.
'They walked and talked, and trudged and tramped. They hopped and hurdled through dry and damp. They splished and splashed through streams and brooks. They peeked through crannies, and peeped through nooks. They searched down and up and in between. But the Growling, Prowling, Bog Mog was nowhere to be seen . . .'
This is a great read-aloud story for younger children, with just the right amount of suspense to keep them intrigued but not frightened. The language is perfect for exploring and exploiting the sounds, rhythms and nuances of our speech, and the use of a variety of fonts really encourages the use of expression and animation. As well as appealing pictures, there are ideas for making simple, essential Growling, Prowling, Bog Mog-seeking tools, and who hasn't made a tent from a bedsheet? Florentine and Pig take only healthy snacks with them and the recipes for these are included. Who could resist 'roasty-toasty campfire kebobbles', which are vegetable-based kebabs? And how yummy does a 'drink-in-your-sleeping-bag honey milk maltie' based on milk and Maltesers sound?
This is the first in this series about Florentine and Pig that I've shared with Miss 3 and Miss 8 and both of them really enjoyed it, especially the cooking part. Now they are waiting till summer so they can have their own nighttime outdoor adventure - with thick snow nearby, it's a little too cold to venture outside after dark now. In the meantime, they're having fun exploring the website.
Barbara Braxton

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