Monday 13 December 2021

Boris Goes Berserk

Boris Goes Berserk
by Robert Favretto, illustrated by Janice Bowles (Ford Street Publishing) PB RRP $16.95 ISBN: 9781925804867

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Boris the huntsman wants to eat his dinner in peace. But when Dad tries everything to get rid of Boris, the hairy spider goes crazy! He crawls down Dad’s back and up Mum’s leg; chased by a broomstick-wielding Dad, Boris scuttles wildly around the house. He finally hides in the safety of Dad’s shoe. Until the vacuum comes out …

Robert Favretto’s hilarious rhyming text scurries along as speedily as a spider scooting across the floor. Kids aged five to nine years will giggle as the madness of Dad’s antics ramps up with each turn of the page. But there is room for empathy as well – although Boris ‘looked a little scary’, Robert reveals to the reader that the spider is actually frightened of Dad.

Janice Bowles adds fun and flow to the spreads with her clever use of coloured pencils and watercolour. The images are bright and appealing, with plenty of detail to keep small eyes busy. Her characterisation of Boris is particularly charming, and makes it easy for youngsters to feel sorry for the harassed little arachnid. 

Boris Goes Berserk uses a healthy dose of humour to inspire a respect for spiders. Kids will love to read the rollicking rhymes again and again, as they will discover new facets to the themes of fear and problem-solving each time.

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