A Groovy World and A Fishy One

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It’s A Groovy World, Alfredo!
Sean Taylor and Chris Garbutt
Walker Books
Alfredo (frog) is not into groovy dancing so when he receives an invitation to Rick’s birthday party where such dancing is scheduled under disco lights, he is less than enthusiastic. Marty promises to teach him all the moves and arrives at Alfredo’s house ready to demonstrate COOL BOOGIE STYLE. Alfredo’s efforts are far from the knees bend, shimmy-shammy shuffle demonstrated by his winged friend; indeed they are a total flop.

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So too is his rendering of the SPEEDY HEEBIE-JEEBIES which is totally unlike Marty’s …

 

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But worst of all is the SILKY-SMOOTH MOVING AND GROOVING as done by our pal Alfredo. It’s his jump, jump, jumping that wrecks it every time. Nonetheless, Marty is eager to take his friend along to that party so off they go …

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where assuredly, rhythm does take control of Marty but our jumping Alfredo? That’s altogether a different story; and procrastination not withstanding …

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Could it now be that a fourth way of grooving has been added to the approved party dance agenda?
Prolific author Sean Taylor has joined forces with animation artist, Garbutt and it’s an entirely appropriate collaboration for this exuberant and funky foray into disco dancing fly- and frog-style. Upbeat, outgoing Marty is the ideal foil to self-conscious, floppy-footed, Alfredo.

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Children’s mixed media responses to Fish’s world view of what Frog saw.

 

Fish is Fish
Leo Lionni
Andersen Press pbk
Another classic Leo Lionni story is reissued and it’s still as powerful as ever with today’s children (and adults who may well have heard it the first time around). At the heart of this multi-layered tale is the notion that we all look at the world through different lenses: our world-view depends on our life experience and that limits the way in which we think about and understand others and their cultures.
In the story we watch what happens when close friends, a minnow and a tadpole, having begun to talk philosophically, start to grow apart as they develop; and in particular tadpole, changes. As frog, he climbs out of the pond and goes off to explore the wider world returning weeks later full of excited accounts of what he has seen.
His friend imagines the birds, cows and humans he hears of with fishy characteristics

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and as the days pass, the curious minnow resolves to see such amazing creatures for himself. His foray onto land however is a near disaster and it’s only thanks to his amphibious friend, that the fish is safely returned to his watery home – ‘the most beautiful of all worlds’ – for fish anyhow.
A wonderfully dramatic story and a thoughtful look at what constitutes truth and how we construct reality: postmodernism for primary children. It’s a great jumping off point too for further philosophical discussion and exploration of ideas relating to being true to oneself, enduring friendship and much more, depending on the age and stage of the audience.
Unmissable.

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