Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Big Beet

The Big Beet by Lynn Ward, illustrated by Adam Carruthers (Omnibus Books)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 978-1-86291-966-2
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Bertie Magee and his wife Thelma are hankering for a burger. Bertie goes into the vegetable garden to choose a nice sized beetroot to add to their bun. But as hard as he tugs the beet, it will not move.

   But the beet wouldn’t budge.   
  ‘Thel, we’ll have to have canned.’
  ‘No, we’ll get it out. I’ll give you a hand.’

Many passersbys stop to help including Shazza, Daz, Jase, an elegant doctor ‘who’d missed her last bus’ and Anna and Li who ‘put down their Pavlova’ to help. But still the beet will not budge. So will the tiny wee girl in her ballet skirt be any help at all?

This familiar tale of pulling together to make a difference is a delight to read. It has a catchy rhythm and the rhyme feels natural and unforced. And there is so much going on in the pictures. So many stories, untold by the text, are crammed onto every page. Readers can follow the main action, or the rooster, or the dog through the pages, or the insects and animals who lurk beneath the soil in the wonderful underground views as the beet is wrenched from its home.

The Big Beet is very Australian, eye-catching and tons of fun for all ages.

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