What a Lot of Nonsense
Angus & Robertson, 2020
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Dear reader, please take time to note
Two ways to read this book I wrote.
The first way is for everyone,
Just read the book, enjoy the fun.
The second way will challenge those
Who like to look beyond the prose.
Who’d like to ACT just like a ‘cat’
(And that’s an anagram, in fact).
Even though my littlies are now almost biggies (9 and 13) respectively and I’ve had to take a long hard look at the shelves bending under the weight of picture books for them in their special bedroom, two titles that will never be moved on in my lifetime are Edward the Emu and Edwina the Emu. Albeit a little tired from being shared with every class I ever taught, they are classics for me and they will soon be joined by this new title from their author, Sheena Knowles. It is delightful, funny and SO clever and Jonathan Bentley’s illustrations give it an extra layer of magic.
The opening rhyme says it all and from there on it is just a romp of fun and hilarity – why should you worry if a camel eats curry? – and the recurring image of Bear struggling to get dressed just ties it all together. And then to weave the tapestry even more tightly is the use of anagrams, a fun word device that might set readers off an entirely new tangent as they discover another aspect of our language. Maybe students could write and illustrate their own couplet that contains an anagram and give their classmates a lift during this at-home time.