10 Little Hermit Crabs, by Lee Fox & Shane McG

Ten little hermit crabs scuttle to the beach,
Down swoops a seagull Screech! Screech! Screech!
Hush says the seashore,
Shh says the sea,
How many hermit crabs will there be?

Ten cute and funky hermit crabs play together on the beach, but as the story progresses, one by one they disappear. But young readers will be happy to know when only one hermit crab remains, he is reunited with his friends.

This brightly illustrated reverse counting book is a pleasing read-aloud offering. With rhyming text and a repetitive refrain which youngsters will learn to join in with, as well as the educational element of the counting, it will be enjoyed by both adults and children.

An entertaining early childhood offering which will withstand repeated readings.

10 Little Hermit Crabs

10 Little Hermit Crabs, by Lee Fox & Shane McG
Allen & Unwin, 2009

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereveiws.

Jasper McFlea Will Not Eat His Tea, by Lee Fox & Mitch Vane

Jasper McFlea will NOT eat his tea.
His twin sister, Ginger, eats all she can see,
a soup made from parsnips and spinach and peas,
then says when she’s finished,
‘I’d like some more please.’
But Jasper McFlea will NOT eat his tea.

Jasper McFlea is a fussy eater. He rejects most foods, based on smell or appearance and for no apparent reason at all. He won’t eat his tea, neither will he eat his dinner, or any other meal. His excuses are many and varied, his refusal absolute. The only one pleased by all of this is the family dog, Buffy, recipient of all Jasper’s rejected food. Jasper’s family are at a loss to know what to do. Jasper continues to refuse almost every food until his parents have had enough. Something has to change. A canny solution is needed if Jasper is to star on the field at cricket. When a way out is offered, the family hold their breath to see Jasper’s response. The solution is in his hands alone. Mitch Vane has used black outlines and broad, bright watercolour strokes to sympathetically convey the emotions of all family members as they seek a solution to Jasper’s intractability.

Jasper McFlea Will Not Eat His Tea presents a scenario familiar in many households – dinnertime as battlefield. Parents reading this story will recognise many of the strategies they have employed in encouraging children to eat a variety of nutritious food. Children however will read a different story. They will enjoy the rhythm and rhyme of the words and the rollicking text as it moves around the page. They can also follow the visual stories of Jasper and the various family members. For example, Ginger, his sister, has plenty of energy, providing a contrast with Jasper’s increasing lethargy. Her advice that this food refusal will ‘end in disaster’ reinforce their parents’ concerns. Buffy the dog can be seen doing some growing of his own. Good fun. Recommended for 4-7 yo.

Jasper McFlea Will Not Eat His Tea

Jasper McFlea Will Not Eat His Tea, Lee Fox ill Mitch Vane
Lothian 2009
ISBN: HB 9780734410627 PB 9780734410993

Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair, by Lee Fox

Ella Kazoo will not brush her hair.
She hides in the cupboard and under the stair.
She roars at her mum
Like a big growly bear,
she whines and she moans
and she howls in despair,
but Ella Kazoo will not brush her hair.

No matter what Mum tries, Ella Kazoo refuses to brush her hair – or to have it brushed for her. While her hair keeps growing, it gets more and more tangled, but Ella will not back down. But, when it finally gets too much for her she offers a solution of her own – a haircut.

This is a fun rhyming tale with wonderful rhythm and a quirky use of end sounds which are repeated multiple times rather than just in pairs. Adults will enjoy reading the text aloud, whilst kids will love listening to it. The acrylic illustrations, by Cathy Wilcox, are a wonderful complement, with the golden locks especially brought to life.

Well able to endure repeat readings.

Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair

Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair, by Lee Fox, illustrated by Cathy Wilcox
Lothian, 2006