Thursday 9 May 2013

There was an Old Bloke who Swallowed a Bunny!

There was an Old Bloke who Swallowed a Bunny! by P.Crumble, illustrated by Louis Shea (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $13.99
ISBN 978-1-74283-160-2
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

There was an Old Bloke Who Swallowed a Bunny! is the newest version of the classic rhyme There was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly. I like P. Crumble but this is not one of my favourites – in fact I found this farmyard version a little hard to swallow. The rhyme is awkward and the procession of animals does not quite make sense. Why does he swallow a duck to carry the mouse?

Louis Shea is a fabulous illustrator and I love his animals and their expressions. On the bunny page there are about thirty rabbits (and two tortoises) and each one is individual. The humour on the page is strong as well, but the pictures have a dark edge to them that may be a little frightening for the very young.

The words follow the convention of the original rhyme, and as always, the author adds a different mix of animals to keep each other company during their brief stay inside his ever growing stomach. 'There was an old bloke who swallowed a llama. The toothy fellow caused quite a drama.'

This is a fun book and many children will enjoy the silliness of events. See if you can find the worm the illustrator has hidden in every picture.

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