Squirm’s Book Reviews: A Community Edition

Each week I review books we’ve read with Squirm. Find other reviews here

Kip by Christina Booth

 Adventures of a Subversive Reader: Kip
(AWW 2013 Squirm Challenge: Book 6)

This CBA short-listed book is a lovely story about a rooster who loves to crow. Unfortunately, the people who live around him don’t love it so much. They keep asking him to not crow at particular times, and Kip puts off crowing until later and later in the day, but still people don’t want to hear it. So Mrs Bea takes him away. How will people feel about Kip now?

This is a great book about living as part of a community and respecting the part that everyone plays in a community, regardless of their role or status. Interestingly, in real life, people seem to take real offense to a rooster crow (even in rural areas!) but don’t mind honking horns, noisy trucks or endless whipper snippering! This seems to be reflected in the shadowed illustrations underneath the main illustrations, which show all the human made noise, while people complain about the rooster noise. There are beautiful colours in this book, especially on the pages where Kip crows. I love the way the story builds and builds, much like the pressure that builds in Kip.

There could be some very interesting listening activities you could do with this book. You could stop and listen, recording all the noises that you hear in your neighbourhood. You could discuss the noises that different birds make, including roosters, ducks and geese. If you’re lucky, you might be able to visit a rooster, but they do seem to be moving them more and more out of places where people live 😦


Same, but Little Bit Diff’rent by Kylie Dunstan

Adventures of a Subversive Reader: Same but a little bit diffrent - dunstan

(AWW 2013 Squirm Challenge: Book 7)

I adore this book. It’s about two friends, one of whom (Normie) is from the very top of Australia. Things, he says, are same, but little bit diff’rent up there. He tells his friend about the things from his home, and how they’re like the things in her world, drawing beautiful contrasts between a more traditional Aboriginal community and the city life of the little girl.

Kylie Dunstan worked in art galleries around Australia, including in Arnhem Land. Her illustrations are fresh and beautiful, with lovely fresh lines and designs. It would be a lot of fun to play with creating pictures in a similar style. The text weaves through the pictures, and is easy to read, rolling off your tongue. It’s a fabulous introduction for young children to realise that there’s more to Australia than the small world they live in.

This is a lesson which could be carried on into some activities. It would be great for children to look at different traditions and cultures within Australia, particularly indigenous cultures. It would be very easy for children to look for things that were ‘same, but little bit diff’rent’



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