Friday 4 December 2015

Donald Doing’s House of Verbs

Donald Doing’s House of Verbs written by Marianna Shek, illustrated by Cody McGrath and Anna Pan (Rock On Kitty)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN 9780994266613

Reviewed by Liz Ledden

This rollicking story introduces the eccentric looking Donald Doing, lover of verbs and owner of a shop filled with solutions for people seeking action. As each customer enters the shop and presents their problem to Donald, he gives them a box. When opened, each box unleashes a new action and leaves the recipient catapulting or spiralling out the door with a new lease on life.

Donald Doing usually has the right solution, but when Nora Noisler arrives declaring she needs a new voice, she is much harder to please. It’s not until the two of them join forces and ponder her problem that a solution presents itself. However, the reader is left a little hanging wondering where Nora Noisler got to, as the focus returns to Donald and how the solution benefits him.

The illustrations are a non-stop riot of colour and activity. Particularly fun is the spread where Donald ‘climbed up a ladder and slid down a snake’, referencing the beloved board game. The bonus of activities at the end offers a combination of illustration instruction and encouragement for readers to think of their own verbs in relation to some of Donald’s mysterious boxes.

The narrative is quite busy at times, but this is a fun story and serves a wonderful purpose of introducing young readers to verbs, and how they can enhance a story.

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