Sunday, 28 December 2014

Little Rhymes for Little People

Little Rhymes for Little People by John Westlake, illustrated by Sophie Scahill (Published by John Westlake)
PB RRP $19.99
ISBN 978-0-646-92462-5
Reviewed by Jaquelyn Muller

In this new release, John Westlake has created a collection of rhymes that aim to educate children about animals of both land and sea and their environments. Suited to children aged three to seven, Little Rhymes for Little People features 21 rhymes written about animals from all over the world including Australian natives.

Each rhyme brings the reader closer to the animal by depicting a relationship between them and people, with the narrator an active participant in each scene.  This gives a gentle portrait of animal behaviour and their characteristics.

The bright illustrations by Sophie Scahill enhance the rhymes through a collage of texture and layering, giving them a somewhat 3D quality and bringing the animals’ habitats to life, at times in a humorous context. Zebras in disguise, a tea drinking leopard and a parachuting kiwi bird will entertain young readers as each page is unveiled. The illustrator has employed various colour palates that reflect a specific animal or environment. These are presented as full colour pages opposite their corresponding rhyme.

Each rhyme is short, in simple to read text, allowing the reader to move quickly. The illustrations support further discussion or reflection. There are opportunities for young children to identify pets or animals they may have encountered on visits to animal parks or sanctuaries. Little Rhymes for Little People is a light-hearted interpretation of animal life that can integrate with other pre-school environmental awareness. 

Little Rhymes for Little People is available now and available through Woodslane distribution.

Jaquelyn Muller is an author and publisher of the Elizabeth Rose picture book series. Jaquelyn is an author champion for the Let’s Read early childhood literacy program. She conducts literacy and publishing workshops for children from kinder to upper primary. jmullerbooks.com

 

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