Monday, March 26, 2012

A review: Peepo!

I have not finished The Undrowned Child, but rather than rush to finish the book I decided I would have a crack at reviewing some picture books. Living outside of an anglophone community, whenever I have a chance to buy picture books I do. They fit quite nicely into the suitcase and aren't heavy. The problem is I never know what to buy. Book blogs (or rather the ones I read) are full of YA and Children's books. So when faced with shelves and shelves of the books and no idea what to buy I revert to type. In other words I buy books I loved as a kid, or stuff that was popular when I started teaching cough cough years ago.

Title: Peepo
Author: Janet & Allan Ahlberg
Published: Puffin Books 1981 
Synopsis: PEEPO! has become a classic for babies and toddlers. It follows a baby through the day in a style full of wit, charm and ingenuity. A series of holes peeping through to the next page leads the child on to the next stage in the day, giving a hint of what is to come. An original book that has long delighted young children - and their parents!


Pictures: So the Ahlberg books were popular when I started teaching (which I hasten to add was NOT in 1981) with their Jolly Postman books. I already had a Jolly postman book, and I figured this would be a good buy. The pictures in this are amazingly detailed and tell a completely different story to the one referred to in the synopsis above. The pictures give us an insight into another era and each time I look through the book I see something different. Despite the intricate detail of the pictures they don't detract from the text. 

Text: Call me an old traditionalist, but I love the predictability of the text and that the rhythm leads you to say 'Peepo' in such a way that it's like playing a game of peekaboo. Also predictable text means the bubba knows exactly when the: Peepo! moment is coming. The words and sentences work perfectly so that there's no stumbling as you read aloud.There's about 400 words in the book, so when you think that the tendency nowadays for a picture book is about 500, this is quite a lot. But, until I just counted the text it's never struck me as a lot and yet we've been reading this book since the bubba was a baby. 

Rereadability: So given that Bubba is now three and almost a half, the rereadability factor is immense. She loved the pictures, she loved looking through the hole and seeing what she would discover on the next page. We have the board book version, so I can tell you it lasts a good long time despite chewing. 

The three year old test:  We're kind of getting to limit with this book as a shared read. The bubba is at the stage now where she likes a good old story and while there is plenty of story in this book, it's more in the pictures than the text, so she tends to look at it by herself now. I imagine this will become a favourite again when she is learning to read. 


Jackie Jordan said...

This book would interest my two-year old granddaughter. Thanks for sharing ...

Michele Helene said...

Definitely Jackie, and you might enjoy it too, I do.


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