River Riddle by Jim Dewar, illustrated by Anil Tortop (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $14.99
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop
Jack is off to market with Dolly the sheep, Frank the fox and a sack of hay. But between them and the market is a big river. With only a small boat just big enough for Jack and one other, how is Jack going to get everyone across without Dolly eating the hay or Frank eating Dolly? Luckily he is a very clever boy. And step by step, Jack’s plan is laid out for readers to follow in both the words and pictures.
Based on a classic kids’ logic puzzle and told in beautifully even rhyme which slips off the tongue easily, The River Riddle is a fun story to read with a great ending.
The humour of the words and situation is carried wonderfully in the vibrant pictures which illustrate, not only the immediate action and the sibling-like relationship (apart from the eating bit!) between Frank and Dolly, but also what is going on in the minds of Jack and his animals. It brings an intimacy to the story when you can see what is going on inside their heads.
See if you can come up with a plan to solve the riddle before Jack?