By introducing kids to strong rhythmic language, rhyme and repetition, we're helping set the stepping stones in place for their journey to reading and enjoyment of literature. Tiny Little Fly by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Kevin Waldron and published by Walker Books (2011) is a children's picture book that's a perfect example of this.
If you asked your children: "Who would win in a struggle between a tiger and a fly?" what do you suppose they would say? In this book, they'll find out.
My oh my! Big elephant tramping, big hippo rolling, big tiger snatching, but off flies the fly … (a) great read-aloud story for the very young that chalks one up for the little guy.Rosen is one of my literacy heroes. He's a former UK Children's Laureate with a strong online presence, and a prolific writer with an unerring instinct for what children will enjoy. He's also a champion of public libraries - woohoo! In Tiny Little Fly, he's given us a story just as memorable as We're Going on a Bear Hunt, and just as much fun. (Find Rosen himself performing the latter on Youtube.)
Waldron has used bold splashes of colour, a few deft lines and lovely textured backgrounds to bring each scene of the story to life. His illustrations assist beginning readers to work out the context of each page, and add so much vibrancy to the book.
There are lots of delightful sound words for children to enjoy - kids will love to swoosh, squash, snatch and swoop along with the tale. They'll also love the climax of the story which has been cleverly highlighted with two fold-out pages. And Rosen, as you would expect, has given us a satisfying twist at the end of the book to prove that might is not always right.
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