Squirm’s Book Reviews: The Not Quite Right Edition

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

Ivy Loves to Give by Freya Blackwood

Adventures of a Subversive Reader: Ivy Loves to Give

(AWW 2013 Squirm Challenge: Book 36)

Ivy is a young girl who loves to give things. Only the things she likes to give don’t always work. And sometimes they leave people without the things they need! Luckily Ivy likes to give things back to the people they belong to.

This is a sweet little tale about taking and giving. The whole book is told in just four sentences – two longer, two shorter – and through the illustrations which tell the real story. There’s a whole family around Ivy (including a baby who might be breastfeeding in one picture!) and there’s a real feeling of warmth and love in this book. Some of that comes through the various animals in the illustrations – including a goat and a snail – which give a slightly scrappy feel.

This would be a great book for an activity on sorting and matching. It could also be one to use with children who are learning about putting things back in the right place. You could use the book to draw pictures of the people and the items and match them up, or collect a group of items from different rooms in your house and get your child to sort them back into the right room.


The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky

Adventures of a Subversive Reader: The Terrible Plop

(AWW 2013 Squirm Challenge: Book 37)

I LOVED this book. It’s the story of the terribly plop which happens in the middle of the forest and terrifies everyone. Except the big brown bear who is sure that he’s brave enough to face the Terrible Plop.

This is a rhyming book which is one of the best read alouds I’ve read in a while. The rhythm of the words works perfectly, and while this looks easy, I’ve been reading several other rhyming books which reminded me that this is something which takes considerable skill. The cause of the terrible plop is hidden in the illustrations, requiring the eagle eyed to be paying attention to find it.

This would be a brilliant book to introduce onomatopoeia. You could create a list or directory of the different ‘sound words’ which you know. You could also use instruments or other noise makers and make your own ‘sound words’. You and your child could even make up a rhyme or song completely of ‘sound words’. You could also use this book to talk about blowing things out of proportion – it would be a good story to match with Chicken Little and a good book for talking about unfounded fears.


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