The Dudgeon is Coming
hbk., RRP $A21.95 9780733323850
pbk., RRP $A14.95 9780141502168
Wow! Did Kindergarten and I have fun with this book! As soon as I showed them the intriguing cover with all its googly eyes peering out from the thick undergrowth, they were hooked. Of course, they wanted to know what a dudgeon was but I wasn’t telling, even though I couldn’t resist a sneak peek.
Instead I set them to work to create a community drawing of their thoughts. Three teams, one large piece of paper for each team, and each of six kids armed with a fat felt-tip pen. One had to draw the head, the next the face, then the body, legs, and tail. The last person got to decide the pattern! Ten minutes later we had three very different pictures of a dudgeon and 18 children really eager to find out just what one was.
We shared the story, the kids joined in waiting for the final reveal. Unlike popular television shows, I didn’t make them wait for an ad break or until after recess, and they were just delighted with the final page. One remarked that the story was like a game of Chinese Whispers so we had a couple of rounds of that so the message really was understood.
Now their pictures adorn the walls of the corridor like movie posters – Watch Out! The Dudgeon is Coming and only 1R knows who it is! Won’t there be excitement when the book is on display in the next couple of days! And wait for its adaptation as an assembly item!
If you like books with amazing characters like the bombazine bear, the hopalong snoot and a stickleback twitch in his bamboo canoe then this is for you. If you like books with rhyme and rhythm that just have to be read aloud, this is for you. If you like books with bright, colourful, imaginative illustrations this is for you. And if you like surefire winners that will give your children the richest of language experiences then this is most definitely for you.
We LOVED it.