Friday, 6 May 2011

Let’s Go Wild: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Let’s Go Wild: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner by Sorrel Wilby, illustrated by Michelle Pike (ABC Books)
PB RRP $12.99
ISBN 9780733328244
Reviewed by Sharon McGuinness

Sorrel Wilby is well known as a reporter on the show Getaway and the magazine Australian Geographic, yet this is her first venture as a children’s author.

Writing about what you know is always great advice for a writer and Wilby does just that. Her passion for animals and nature is well known and recorded, but she now shares that passion with children aged between 7 and 10.

Written from a child’s perspective (Wilby’s son) she uses humour to engage her audience while simultaneously informing them. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner is the first of three books in the series. Written over six chapters, Wilby imparts a variety of facts about what and how animals eat. A glossary at the end of the last chapter defines many of the scientific terms Wilby uses throughout the book.

I enjoyed reading many of the factual titbits, interspersed with quotes from experts in the animal field. The lively illustrations by Michelle Pike are great. However, there are many pages which are full of unbroken text – a known turn off for readers of this age group. I would have preferred more visuals to accompany smaller paragraphs of text. Having said that I never knew that rats enjoy eating the oily toenails of elephants or that the capybara (a large rodent) eats its own poo! Facts which will no doubt fascinate children.

Worth a try in a school library or for that trivia seeking child!

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