Sunday 4 October 2020

Nursery Crimes: Little Bo Peep Phone Alone

Nursery Crimes: Little Bo Peep Phone Alone by John Barwick, illustrations by Dave Atze (Big Sky Publishing) PB RRP $12.50 ISBN 9781922265197

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

This is the third reimagining of nursery rhymes by Barwick. In this, Little Bo Peep loses her sheep because she is so preoccupied with her phone. When she realises they are lost, (and they don’t come back), she sets off into Nursery Rhyme Land in search of them. Along the way she meets amateur detective Little Miss Muffet and numerous other nursery rhyme characters, eventually realising that the sheep are about to turn into lamb pies if she doesn’t rescue them soon. Big Bo Peep joins in the chase and is largely responsible for her sister’s success in rescuing her flock.

At the start of the book, the narrator addresses the reader and again interjects midway through the story. He is not really necessary, but some children might like the literary device where the story is paused for ‘outside’ comments.

There is a lot of humour in this imaginative retelling of a familiar story with some sophisticated moments and fast-paced action. Black and white illustrations throughout the book add to the humour. Recommended for readers aged 8+ years.

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