Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
Here’s a rollicking Aussie version of the cumulative story, The Enormous Turnip, in a fun children’s picture book. The Big Beet was written by Lynn Ward, illustrated by Adam Carruthers and published by Omnibus Books for Scholastic Australia (2013). RRP: $24.99.
Thelma Magee fancies a burger for tea, so her husband Bert heads out to the veggie patch to pick a juicy beetroot. But no matter how hard he pulls, that beet won’t budge. He might need a hand...
A fresh Aussie take on a traditional folk tale.
Ward’s story is written in energetic rhythm and rhyme, with lots of repetition so kids can join in. I loved the Australian flavour of names like Shazza, Daz and Thel, and other Aussie vocabulary. Carruthers’ quirky artwork adds to the fun - kids will particularly relish the underground views of what’s happening with the beet. The final page in the story, all illustration, makes a great discussion point and an excellent reason for reading the story all over again to locate the little dog and the chook. (Gotta love a good chook story!)
The Big Beet makes such a fun story to act out! Children will love performing the tale as a reader’s theatre, or as improvised scenes held together by a reader/narrator. There are also teacher notes to support the book. If you’re a librarian looking for a resource to support a unit on Australia, or one on Poetry, take a look at The Big Beet.
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