The Great AAA-OOO!


The Great AAA-OOO!
Jonny Lambert
Little Tiger Press
I’ve had to read this so many times in quick succession on several occasions that I’ve been rendered almost permanently hoarse – hopefully only a temporary trouble! Just gotta stop all that AAA-OOOing or my voice box will pack up completely and then I’ll be chasing after the brilliant Jonny Lambert demanding compensation for damages… But it is just SOOO brilliant and such STUPENDOUS fun – a crackingly great read aloud – that it makes everything worthwhile.; five packs of throat sweets not withstanding.
Better get on and explain what all the fuss is about. Fuss it certainly is for Mouse, on his way home through the dark rackety wood hears, guess what … AAA-OOO! AAA-OOO! AAA-OOO! Here we go … Owl thinks Mouse is responsible:
Twaddle, not I! ” hooted Owl.
If it was not you, then who,
tu-whit tu-whoo, is making this
awful AAA-OOO?
Mouse thinks it was Owl but it’s gotta have been somebody so who ? Certainly not Bear; he’s convinced it’ s one of the others … but there it goes again AAA-OOO! AAA-OOO!


KNOCK, SMACK, THWACK.’ That’s Moose demanding to know if one of the three is the perpetrator of the din. Hot denials follow and another howl. By now jitters and chitters have begun to set in: There’s a mention of a monster – “boggley-eyed and blue” – is Mouse’s suggestion. “Or hairy and scary … with big claws.” – that’s Moose’s offering, to which Bear adds … “huge teeth that chomp, gnash and chew!” Owl is having none of it; monster indeed. But then comes an enormous “AAAAA-OOOOO!
Dove joins those on the branch and then Bear scoops up whimpering Wolf Cub from below. There are mentions of a pie,


“A pie?” roared Bear.”Save yourselves! Follow me!”

followed hastily by a whole lot of scrambling higher up the tree, which is starting to show signs of stress. A resounding crack! echoes through the woods and catastrophe …


Oh-oh! the culprit is revealed, apologies proffered and an explanation provided, followed by a mighty hug – Bear to Wolf Cub and a promise – ditto.
Finally peace, harmony and sleep reign over the rackety wood until …
My latest rendering of this corker of a tale resulted in a largish group of 5s to 9s going around a school AAA-OOOing with great gusto, so much so that I felt duty bound to ask them to damp down their howls or we’d all be in trouble. If that isn’t testament enough to the quality of this tale, then nothing is. Dare I say, it’s a howlingly, show-stoppingly, way beyond magnificent, book.

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