Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Children's Book Review, Sister Madge's Book of Nuns



Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com

When I taught Year 6, I was lucky to have kids who shared my enthusiasm for poetry. Or did my enthusiasm rub off on them? Perhaps a bit o' both. They knew they could delay lessons they disliked by begging me to read "just one more". And one of our class favourites was definitely Sister Madge's Book of Nuns. Now this sturdy hardback is back by popular demand, and I am delighted to be able to share it with you. Sister Madge's Book of Nuns was written by Doug MacLeod, illustrated by Craig Smith and re-published by Working Title Press (2012.)

Wicked, warped and fiendishly funny, this collection of poems by Australia’s best writer of comic verse and his cheeky offsider, Craig Smith, introduces us to Sister Madge Mappin and the other eccentric residents of Our Lady of Immense Proportions.

The poems in this book are not for those who want cute little bunnies and birdies. You're far more likely to find piranha and vultures. You'll also find a collection of poems about a group of nuns that will make you gurgle, giggle and probably snort milk over your shirt. There are nuns who promote joy and laughter through whoopee cushions, nuns who wreak vengeance on a rude supermarket manager, recycling nuns and nuns with antlers. All the poems are written in a rollicking rhythm, impeccable rhyme and with MacLeod's trademark humour. My year 6 boys adored them!

Smith is an inspired choice as illustrator. His art work takes the form of full page colour illustrations that act as teasers to each poem, plus smaller colour illustrations under each poem. This richness and generosity of images really contributes to the humour of the poetry collection, and our overall enjoyment of the book. I loved the chuckling crocodile swallowing Joseph, and of course, the nuns roaring through the supermarket on their Harleys.

Do consider Sister Madge's Book of Nuns for your poetry collection. I recommend it particularly for those who want to introduce the fun poetry can bring to senior primary or junior high boys. Another personal MacLeod favourite to keep an eye out for is The Fed Up Family Album.

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