Monday, April 02, 2012

A book review: Bright Stanley

Title: Bright Stanley
Author: Matt Buckingham
Published: Little Tiger Press (6 Mar 2006)
Synopsis: Far below the waves a little fish called Stanley lived with the rest of his shoal. They were the brightest, sparkliest fish in the whole of the deep, dark sea. One morning Stanley woke up rather late. "Coo-ee! It's me-ee!" he called to his friends as usual. But the reef was strangely quiet...

In the days when I wasn't exactly sure what to buy, I confess that in that banner that says: If you are buying this, then why not try this... I also confess that that was the first and last time I chose my books like this. Firstly because I was using and for some bizarre reason they never specify whether the books are UK and US edition. Now call me an old stickler, but when I don't know I'm reading a US edition the spelling throws me... anyway. 

Text: This is the tale of a slightly camp (well in my mind) and sparkly goldfish called Stanley, who wakes up one morning and realises he is late to meet his school as they swim to warmer waters. His adventures lead him through a whole gamut of emotions: glee, terror, disappointment and shock, which are quite fun to share with a young child. Stanley has a couple of catchphrases: 'Hello it's me!' and 'Jumping Jellyfish', which we really enjoy and like I said at the beginning I play him camp. One of the things I'm not too keen on is the growled, snarled, groaned... dialogue tags. I kind of know the book off by heart now, but to begin with it would throw me off my game. 

Pictures: In complete contrast with the Ahlberg's work, Stanley is pretty simple, painted pictures, but we really like them. We can see the emotion on Stanley's face (and I'm a bit of a Nemo fan and have watched all the extra bits and know how difficult that is to do). There are clever little devices in the pictures, such as a sea snail that appears on every page and the sparkly Stanley of course. 

Rereadability: Have I mentioned the catchphrase? Brilliant, because you pick up the book and everyone instantly says it. There is also a moment (I don't want to give it away) which will have your kid scuttling under the covers and when we're doing the read aloud we like to play that bit up. It's not really the calmest of bed time reads, but it definitely is fun . 

The three year old test:  I recently learnt that if publishers put foil in your books they LOVE you. Well Bright Stanley has foil on EVERY page people. And for the last page you practically need your sunglasses. This goes down really well with the three year old who loves stroking the foil. She also loves to join in with Stanley's catchphrase. All together now: Hellooooo it's meEE!

OMG! (Say that in a Bright Stanley way) I've just found the page! Jumping Jellyfish!


Jackie Jordan said...

Interesting book. Another one on my granddaughters book list. Thanks!

Michele Helene said...

Oh definitely, this one's a good one.


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