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Oh no! How can that be?
Granny's cow PLOPPY is stuck up a tree.
With a loud TOOT-TOOT and a HIP-HOORAY,
look who's coming to save the day ...
"NEE NAW! NEE NAW!
I'm a little fire engine.
NEE NAW! NEE NAW!
I'm happy I'm me!"
With an easy-to-sing melody and a catchy refrain, and brilliantly illustrated with the quirky art of Paul Beavis. Also included is a CD so the young reader can sing along with the story.
I love it when kids reach that next milestone and surprise you with a new skill. In Miss Six' case it was realising how double meanings can be the funniest thing ever! Because she is reading so well now, I suggested that she read this book to me rather than the other way round - but we got no further than the cover as she collapsed in giggles at the idea of Ploppy the Cow experiencing a "cowtastrophe" instead of a "catastrophe". She got it straight away; it was so exciting to visualise that little light bulb flicking`````` on above her head as she worked it out.
Having got over that little reaction, we proceeded to the story proper, me listening (and helping out a couple of times with unfamiliar words) and her reading to me. But first, of course, she had to fill in her name on the first page. Kids love getting books where they are invited to personalise their copy. I wish more books included this feature! After that, we read more or less from start to finish although there were frequent pauses to talk about the pictures. Both of us loved the way Nee Naw woke up, and laughed at the fire crew being tipped out of their ladder beds! We also loved the way that the cat and the cow added their personal sounds at the end of the book when they paraphrased "I'm happy I'm me!"
One thing that annoyed us was the way the picture of Ploppy getting down from the tree was spread over two pages. Part of the picture was lost in the fold of the book, but we would like to have seen it all. We thought it would have been better to put most of the picture on one page of the double spread and make the whole thing smaller. The pictures are so beautifully drawn that it seems a shame that one is partially hidden.
However, we did like the message that the story conveys. Nee Naw learns to trust in himself and be content with his size - a really important lesson for children in confidence and self-acceptance. Miss Six was quite annoyed when the bigger engines were bullying him, so was relieved when he too is wanted for a rescue mission and regains his self-esteem. She was even happier when, in turn, he teaches this lesson to Ploppy who is able to overcome her fears and get herself out of a difficult situation.
Finally, there is a CD included so the young reader can sing along while looking at the words in the book. Not only is this great fun, it also reinforces the new words as the lyrics are faithful to the written text. Miss Six has read and listened to the book at least a dozen times since first encountering it, and now that she knows the story and melody by heart, she is busy choreographing a little dance to go with it!
Random listing from 'Books'...
Today is Ricky Ricotta's birthday and it is going to be the BEST day ever. As a special treat, Ricky's family is going to the museum to see dinosaurs. But when they get there, an evil space-bunny named General Jackrabbit is creating Jurassic Jackrabbits that will help him take over Earth.
Can Ricky and his Mighty Robot beat the big, bad bunnies? Or will this end up being the WORST birthday ever?
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