Sunday 3 April 2016

Echidna Jim Went for a Swim

Echidna Jim Went for a Swim by Phil Cummings, illustrated by Laura Wood (Scholastic Australia)
HB RRP $16.99
ISBN 978-1-76015-299-4

Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

It is a very hot day so all the animals decide to go to the beach in the big blue bus Wombat fixed up. The water is cool and everyone is having fun floating around on their inflatable toys until Echidna Jim jumps in.
Echidna Jim Went for a Swim is a light-hearted, fun tale which highlights the problems of having spikes. Jim is a clumsy echidna but his friends take it all in their stride, coming up with simple solutions to minimise the spikes’ damage.

The story is filled with vibrant, bustling words – ‘rattle, bounced, skidded, whoosh’ – all highlighted in the text. It is lovely to read aloud – The bumpy road wound round like a snake – with the occasional internal rhyme – There was a terrible fuss getting back on the bus. This picture book would pass the test of multiple readings easily.

The illustrations partner the text perfectly. They reveal the story of the spikes and the solutions. The Australian animals are drawn wonderfully, with their expressions and quirks. From Echidna Jim, to the koala who is always snapping photographs, to the dingo who is always ‘cool’, these animals retain their personalities throughout. Bright and always amusing, these pictures will delight young readers.

This hardback edition has heavy glossy pages, just right for long time wear and little fingers. Children from the age of three will enjoy this book.

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