We're going on a Kiwi holiday! Grab the beach towels off the line!
Use the toilet one more time... and don't leave Grandma behind!
This is a joyful and bouncy celebration of summer, chaotic family holidays, and the great Kiwi roadie. But uh-oh, where is Grandma?
Children can sing along to the downloadable song while they look at Raymond McGrath's retro illustrations.
Mr Three was an instant fan of this book. He loved the pictures and is old enough now to discuss them and think about what might happen next. When his family goes away together, things become a bit chaotic just as it happened in the story, and he thought that was wonderful - imagine, there are other families out there who have just as busy a time as they get ready for a trip. At three, children are able to relate to events in stories and compare them to their own experiences. It was delightful to see just how much he was enjoying himself.
Three is also a great age for learning new ideas. Although children of this age are not usually able to read individual words, they can link the story to the pictures and sometimes even recognise some of the shorter words on the page. This is a useful easing into the learning that takes place in the "big kids' school", an adventure that is not too distant now for him. The part about telling everyone to go to the toilet before getting into the car caused some giggles of course!
Despite all the reminders to find Grandma and get her packed into the car too, the family was not very organised. Mr Three was quite worried about her and was relieved that they returned to get her. It would have been a pity to leave her in the garden while they all had fun at the beach, although she did look quite comfy in her hammock. Perhaps she had planned it all and was secretly pleased to have a little time on her own without the family all fussing around her. Of course, neither Mr Three nor Miss Five could possibly imagine why any Grandma would want time to herself when she could be playing with the grandchildren!
The book comes complete with a link to a song that can be streamed or downloaded. Miss Five came in while Mr Three was listening to it, and had a wonderful time telling him which words rhymed. Although she has started school only recently, she is always keen to show off her knowledge and put her new skills into practice. The song is simple but catchy, and both children loved the tune. It is a great way to learn a story by heart because the music and rhythm help the memorising process and turn learning into fun.
This review is written on behalf of Vittoria (my ten year old daughter) and is a mix of her views, her siblings (12.5 and 8.5 years) and my own as well (but, mostly hers she wanted me to tell you!)
The book looks and feels nice when you are holding it and seems really strong and not easy to damage. I like the pretend stamp for the word "Kiwi" and how it makes it look interesting. I can clearly see who wrote this book and did the pictures, and that is really important as it would not be easy to write and illustrate a book and people should know how clever you are if you do. I also like that the cover has some shiny and not shiny bits so when you move it in the sunlight it reflects and catches your eye.
I like that the book is rhyming and this makes it funny and fun to read, it is a bit like reading a poem.
I really enjoyed it and think little kids and big kids would like it, and I could even read it aloud easily to younger kids at my school when I do library duty if I get to be a librarian next year. I like that the pictures are bright and cheerful and show scenes of lots of New Zealand and Kiwi things like cool birds we have like the Piwakawaka (fantail). I also really like that they forget to bring the Grandma, and leave her behind! But I think she might like having the quiet time! That was so funny and made me laugh a lot! (I saw the Grandma eating a lot of cookies too. That's funny!)
So on to the adult review bit! I agree completely with what Vittoria asked me to write and really enjoyed reading this story with and to all the kids. The illustrations are whimsical and fun and really capture the "kiwi" holiday where you literally pack everything and the kitchen sink in and then end up not needing half of it! The little touches within the book of Kiwi things (for example the pohutukawa on the biscuit tin that everyone has at least one of in their house and probably got from a Secret Santa or older relative, the piwakawaka birds throughout the book and even the packed motorway that we see at holiday time!) make it a great gift for your own tamariki or mokopuna, or for Kiwi's overseas too.
Absolutely loved this book, and would definitely consider purchasing it as a gift, as I am sure it would be enjoyed by all!
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Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)