Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Mr Tripp Goes for a Skate

Mr Tripp Goes for a Skate by Sandy McKay illustrated by Ruth Paul (Walker Books Australia)
PB RRP $11.95
ISBN – 9781921529733
Reviewed by Emma Cameron

Using the same characters as the highly successful Mr Tripp Smells a Rat, this book sees Mr Tripp and Room Five learning about the invention of the wheel. Told in three chapters, each with their own titles, this book will have beginner readers able to easily follow the story of how studying the wheel is more fun when incorporating an event like “Wheels Day” so everyone can get involved.

For some reason, however, Mr Tripp is less enthusiastic about riding in the playground than everyone else is. Everyone brings something different to ride on wheels day. Bikes, rollerblades, scooters abound. Mr Tripp’s skateboard, however, brings real drama. He tries a number of ways to avoid riding it, until Miss Filipo insists he do so. And he crashes.

Fortunately, Mr Trip’s fall is without injury and he can laugh about it. Readers will be relieved and the use of jokes and riddles, as well as familiar themes of school, transport and safety, makes for an engaging, entertaining and accessible way for readers to move from shorter stories to chapter books. Text, however, isn’t all that there is to keep readers on track.

Oodles of clever and funny illustrations show plenty of action to go with each scene’s text, giving numerous enjoyable visuals. Besides making the overall appearance of an early chapter book far less daunting than they could be, illustrations also ensure readers will take breaks between paragraphs, allowing them to build familiarity with the chapter book experience more easily.

This book is sure to bring out confidence in beginning readers and thereby a desire to try more books. This can only be a good thing. As such, this book is highly recommended for every school library at the very least but also an ideal gift for children just who are spring boarding into longer works.

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