Friday 27 March 2020

Say Cheese!

Say Cheese! by Frances Watts, Marjorie Crosby-Fairall (Scholastic Australia)
RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781760664046

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

The author playfully builds the antics of cheeky animals at school photos with the use of questioning by Maxwell Mouse the photographer. This gives the illustrations lots of scope with the answers. School photos – student and family portraits and then a picture of the whole class with all the shenanigans ensure the reader is entertained. The dialogue between the photographer and animals works harmoniously. A big strength of this book is the interplay between the words and illustrations. Marjorie has lots of freedom to ham up Maxwell Mouse’s frustration with some students who just won’t stay still.

Many illustrations use sky blue and cheese yellow with double spreads full of playful characters and movement. The animal characters sing with personality that fill each page. The repeated refrain ‘Say Cheese!’ gives the reader the opportunity to join in with the story. This book can be enjoyed by children aged three to eight years. I can also see many teachers using this book around the annual school photo. Also, at home a child could easily do school photos of their toys as a fun response to this story.

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