Saturday 15 February 2020

What a Lot of Nonsense

What a Lot of Nonsense by Sheena Knowles illustrated by Jonathon Bentley (Angus & Robertson) HB RRP $20.90 ISBN  9781460756140

Reviewed by Claire Stuckey

What a Lot of Nonsense is a rhyming picture book full of silly statements and nonsense questions. Within the text we discover pink, blue birds and curry eating camels which accompany a large panda struggling with all sorts of clothing issues, confused? Well, it is a lot of nonsense! With an introduction in rhyme from the author we discover that hidden in the text are anagrams. For those wanting to explore this aspect of the text in more detail, the answers are provided on the back page.

Bentley compliments the chaos with clear bright and colourful illustrations especially those with emotive facial expressions. Some of the animals directly seek our attention and response to their plight. With the odd literary allusion, and no real story or plot, this is a silly romp with lots of alliteration.

As a great fan of the Edward and Edwina titles which I have presented to children and parents for over a decade I was so excited when I discovered that Sheena Knowles was publishing a new book. This is a little bit different to what I expected but, it is so much fun to read aloud. This title reminds me very much of the classic  The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear. With Australian references it will be a welcome addition to story time, preschools and infants’ programs for fun, as well as the literacy value.

Recommended reading age 3 to 8 years.

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