Wednesday 28 May 2014

Knick Knack Bushwhack

Knick Knack Bushwhack illustrated by Mandy Foot (Lothian/Hachette)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN: 9780734413123
Reviewed by Hilary Smillie
An Aussie version of the classic song, Knick Knack Paddywack forms the text of this imaginative picture book that practically jumps with Mandy Foot's amusing illustrations.
Lively depictions of Australian bush animals and birds having a bushwack give small readers plenty to enjoy. Any sense of the normal behaviour of our bush creatures is pushed aside as the dry creek bed becomes a performance arena. Sticks, wooden spoons, tin cans, bottle tops and bottles are some of the instruments wielded by the energetic performers to create a lot of noisy fun.
Mums and dads will no doubt sing these new words with similar gusto to the original as toddlers drink in the scenarios.
This little snake, she plays six,
she plays knick knack with a hiss.
With a knick knack bushwack, though she likes to roam,
this little snake comes gliding home is just one example of the lyrics which will get small fingers drumming and counting.
Along with Mandy's engaging animals and busy backgrounds are strings of musical notes reminding the reader to sing. The maraca-shaking magpies on the frontispiece and endpiece accompanying the musical score are engaging and fun.

Colour and action and whimsical wildlife makes this an exuberant and appealing picture book for toddlers and adults alike. 

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