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Step back in time to meet clever cave boy Arg and his Stone Age family. It's where the trouble begins! BLEUUURGH! Oh no . . . Krrk-Krrk is cute, but he is mega messy. Arg's coat smells so BAD, it has to go! Brrr, poor Arg.
Miss Five has decided she loves dinosaurs. So when we started to read this book together, she got very excited because Arg, the hero of the story, has a pet dinosaur instead of a kitten or a puppy. She thought that was very cool, and thought it was the funniest thing ever when he lifted his leg to the wall.
As we read on, she was having problems keeping a straight face. While she felt sorry for poor Arg because he was so cold, she kept chuckling at all the disgusting things Krrk-Krrk kept doing, from throwing up all over Arg's coat, to peeing on the wall, to eating live maggots. She used to have a pet cat of her own some time ago, and she assured me that he never got up to those sorts of antics!
After we had read the book through, we checked out the map at the beginning once more. It is designed for a young child to follow, so Miss Five was easily able to trace Arg's journey when he went in search of his coat. She got some coloured pencils and decorated it - green for the trees, blue for the swamp and river, and bright scarlet for Arg's cave. I could understand the greens and blues, but when I asked why she had coloured the cave red she said it was because Arg was cold and red would keep him warm. In my opinion, a completely reasonable explanation!
The line drawings of the different animals are just great. Miss Five learned about mastodons, pterosaurs, allosaurs, sabre-tooth tigers, and ankylosaurs, and had great fun repeating the words and naming each creature as she looked at the pictures. She was not able to read the book as yet, but that did not stop her from identifying the creatures and talking about them. We looked them all up online and found more pictures, much to her delight.
There were other learning opportunities too. We talked about the way cave people had to rely on animal skins to keep warm, especially in winters a lot colder than those she is used to, and she thought Arg must have been most uncomfortable when he had to wear a coat that was full of maggots. There is a compulsive fascination for children in thinking about gross things that happen to other people, and a sense of relief that they do not have to put up with these things. Miss Five assured me that her own anorak is nice and warm, but it is also very clean and there isn't a maggot in sight! Thank goodness for that.
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