Skip, skip, skip to the loo,
Skip, skip, skip to the loo,
Skip, skip, skip to the loo,
Skip to the loo, my darlin'.
There's a HULLABALOO down on the farm. Animals are here, there and everywhere - even in the LOO! Sing along to this hilarious version of a much-loved song with Dame Lynda and Dame Jools.
Everyone knows the tune and will soon be singing along to the accompanying CD. There are two tracks, one with music and vocals, and the other with just the musical accompaniment so children can sing along.
The hilarious illustrations are by Jenny Cooper.
Being an early childhood teacher I have plenty of children on a daily basis to read books to. Books are such a big part of our day, and as teachers we occasionally love the CD books to give the children something different - and give our voices a bit of a rest! We have got quite a few of the Topp Twins books and we enjoy them all. They are picked very well for the books they do, their voices are just perfect for each one. Whoever decides who sings on these books is very good at matching the voices to the stories.
Showing this book to the children the first discussion was about what a loo is. Not many of our children knew the word loo, most know it as just a toilet. Knowing then that it was a toilet the discussion turned into the type of toilet the boy is sitting on. It was in its own shed and didn't look like the toilet they sit on every day. It turns out that none of them knew what a long drop is - who knew that this story would educate children on the different types of toilets! It then did lead to the discussion about how they can smell really bad because things don't get flushed away and that's why the flies were there!
Once again we had a book that just the front cover brought out so much discussion, but it was finally time to put the CD on and read the book. This is a song I remember very fondly from my childhood but is one you don't tend to hear much anymore. I could remember the main chorus, but not any verses so I'm not sure whether they are traditional verses or whether they have created more to make the book. The pictures were perfect for drawing in the children's attention, so much so we had to go back through the book to discuss each of the pictures after the CD had finished (otherwise our story would have been interrupted all the time and we wouldn't have kept up with the CD!). I do love books like this, that bring in plenty of discussions and allow all the children to voice their opinion and talk about what they can see in the pictures.
This book has been requested a few times since, and I have even heard children singing the song during their play times. I am sure that this will continue to be a favourite, especially as the children are beginning to learn the song and are starting to be able to sing along with it.
I was lucky enough to have two different groups of children review this book for me. My main reviewers were our two boys who are at the age where they just love to sing and dance along to the music, but our twins (and their little brother and sister) got a sneak preview as well because I happened to have the book with me when I called in earlier in the day. This was interesting as they were more into looking at the pictures and listening to the story whereas the boys were more into the rhythms and moves!
The cover made all the children laugh. The only one of the six still in nappies is Mr One; the rest could all relate to the child sitting in the outhouse with all the animals around. Modern children have not often seen a longdrop, so we had to explain to them what it is and how it works. They all found it hilarious that people might have had to use an outside toilet, especially at night or in the middle of winter, and were impressed that I could remember that experience from my own childhood at various baches and camping grounds. However, the presence of the animals was another matter; the twins have a dog, and the boys have a cat, so that was quite familiar!
The illustrations are colourful and very funny. Although the animals are stylised, they are recognisable and even Miss Two could pick out the cow and the other farm animals. The only one she did not know was the possum. All of them loved the way the animals all got into the wrong places on the farm so that the poor child had to "hang on" while they got sorted. Mr Six said he hoped the little boy did not have an accident because he had to wait so long to get to the loo! They had all decided separately that the child was a little boy, although since he was dressed in casual clothes they could not be totally sure. I think that is a strength of the book as this sort of predicament can happen to any child!
Mr Six was able to read the text through by himself, so he offered to read it aloud after he and his brother had listened to the CD several times and worn themselves out with their impromptu dance moves. However, because he was now familiar with the words, he was able to suss out the unfamiliar ones like "impromptu" and "chook" without any assistance. Mr Five was able to recognise some of the words too so he happily joined in when he was able. Both of them were very proud of themselves!
I enjoyed the book myself and can see it getting plenty of mileage from the boys. The hilarious graphics, the funny story, and the catchy tune ensure that the children's attention is maintained right to the end. It would make a wonderful gift for a younger child, and also for an older one who might be a reluctant reader because it has all the ingredients to intrigue and then hold their interest.
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