Review Blog

Jul 05 2018

Roald Dahl's 123 illustrated by Quentin Blake

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Penguin Random House, 2018. ISBN 9780241330364
(Age: 1-5) Quentin Blake brings his unique illustrations to this early counting book. He even borrows from his previous work, with his distinctive enormous crocodile featuring on each page. The word 'chiddler' (meaning child) as coined by Roald Dahl in The BFG is also used. The board book counts chiddlers from one to five ('1 little chiddler going for a walk. 2 little chiddlers waiting for their friend'). Each page also asks the reader to spot the enormous crocodile that is badly hidden within the illustration ('Can you spot 1 enormous crocodile hiding in the grass?'). The illustrations are funny in parts: when the crocodile pretends to be a carousel animal or a coconut tree for example. The numerals are large and bold to help with number recognition and the pages are not too busy. This will enable readers to easily count the children (or chiddlers) on each page. The ending is clever as it is implied that the crocodile eats the children but the last page lifts out for a double spread to show the children all fleeing from the enormous crocodile who just missed them with his snapping jaws. This is a simple but fun counting book and a nice introduction to the illustrative genius of Quentin Blake.
Nicole Smith-Forrest

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