Tag Archives: challenge

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors
Drew Daywalt and Adam Rex
Harper Collins Children’s Books
Have you ever wondered about the origins of the playground game? Now thanks to a rib-tickling collaboration between author Daywalt (of The Day the Crayons Quit fame) and illustrator, Adam Rex you can find out.
Daywalt’s telling demands much of the reader aloud in the way of performance power, as he tells in true legend style, of fearsome heroes; first of Rock, invincible champion warrior of the ancient realm of the Kingdom of Backgarden. Dissatisfied by the lack of worthy challengers, Rock travels far and wide in search of an equal in battle: His first adversary is Peg atop a washing line; his second comes in fruit form: he insults a juicy apricot and is immediately challenged to a duel…

but flattening the fruit, brings him no joy.
Meanwhile, in the Empire of Mum’s Study, and in Kitchen Realm, two other warriors, Paper and Scissors are equally at odds with themselves over lack of sufficiently challenging opponents. “Taste my fury, giant box-monster!” Paper yells at Computer Printer before completely jamming up its works …

Scissors at the same time, puts paid to a ‘strange and sticky circle-man, aka tape dispenser, as well as ‘dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets’.

Finally the three warriors make their way to a garage and after three eye-popping rounds, they come to the conclusion that there is an endless circularity to their battles and become fast friends. But we all know the perils of triangular friendships …
Fiercely fast, furious and funny, this will have your audiences crying out for instant re-reads, not least on account of such giggle-inducing cries as, “You Sir look like a fuzzy little fruit bum” – that’s to the apricot; and “drop that underwear” (to clothes peg); as well as Rock’s talk of “no pants” in response to Scissors’ mention of “battle pants”.
The high drama of Daywalt’s text is made even more verbally viciously confrontational by the use of all manner of graphic exuberances and is further heightened by Rex’s superb, action-packed scenes of the battlers set against backdrops of raging thunderstorms, volcanic eruptions and missile firings.
What really makes the whole confrontational epic so engaging for me though, is that in the end, co-operation RULES …

I’ve signed the charter  

A Minibeast Bop & A Crunching Munching Pirate


Twist and Hop Minibeast Bop
Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees
Orchard Books
Come, come, come with me, to the stump of a fallen tree, there’s something there you really must see: minibeasts both large and small, are gathering to have a ball. Actually it’s a bop but hey, it’s loads of fun and you’re sure to see tiny creatures in all their glory gathering to dance till they drop. There are ants, shiny-shelled beetles, slithery slugs, head-turning ladybirds and dazzling butterflies to wow us all.


But, as the band strikes up and the dancing starts, someone is notable by their absence: snail is missing all the wiggly rumba, cha-cha-cha and jittery jiving fun. Will he arrive before the final grand boogie? Suddenly from the rim there comes ‘a RUMBLING sound’ … and ‘a rolling rock that SHAKES the ground’; now what could that be?


WHOPPEE!! It’s that slow-coach at last and he’s about to prove himself …


Wonderfully exuberant rhythmic, rhyming fun: you really must join the dance-along, shout-along, clap-along romp BOP composed by Tony Mitton, master of rhyme, and depicted by Parker-Rees in wonderfully upbeat style.
Wherever you are home or school, your feet just won’t be able to keep from moving; for sheer exuberance, it’s hard to beat.


Munch, Crunch, Pirate Lunch!
John Kelly
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Pirate leader, Heartless Bart is a pretty fearsome-looking character and when he discovers that one more of his crew has been consumed by the Beastly Pirates, he is determined to take on his dastardly enemies, and has an evil plan up his sleeve to boot. A few days later the ‘good ship’ Beastly Pirate looms into view and this cry is heard “A Jolly Roger! Dead ahead! It’s time for dinner. Beastlies. GET THE OVEN ON!” When the Beastlies have made their capture, it seems they might have bitten off more than they can chew for who should leap aboard their vessel but …


and he’s making a challenge rightaway: “I’ve come to end the terror of your culinary reign. You’ve had your last pirate repast. You shan’t eat us again.
A fearful battle ensues with charging, biting, whacking and worse but nothing is a match for Bart, not even the unleashing of a cannon ball …


As Snapper and Bart are about to embark on a frontal attack, there’s a thunder crack and a storm blows up. The two assailants fight tooth and nail and it begins to look as though Bart might just be the victor: then down comes a huge iron hook and up goes a certain metal-clad bully and down comes a thunderbolt – one hundred thousand volts of it.
To discover who is finally victorious, you’ll need to beg, borrow, or preferably buy a copy of this mock-scary story and read it for yourself but here’s a clue …


Told in appropriately rollicking rhyme, with a bunch of deliciously hideous-looking characters engaging in alarming and awful antics, this is likely to send shivers of delight down the spines of young audiences and have them cheering at the finale.

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Finding a Way


Don’t Wake Up Tiger!
Britta Teckentrup
Nosy Crow
Author/audience complicity is crucial to making this delightful story work: right from the opening ‘Shhh! Tiger is asleep and we mustn’t wake her up.’ youngsters are drawn into the plot: a plot that entails getting Frog, Fox, Tortoise, Mouse and Stork plus a bunch of balloons past Tiger without waking her.


The balloons play a vital role: Frog uses one to float him right over, but we have to play our part with a bit of nose stroking to make sure Tiger stays asleep. Fox certainly needs our help too or he’ll land right on the sleeper …


Phew! That’s two past and Tortoise goes next: gentle tummy stroking is required for his safe passage across a nearly waking Tiger; and Mouse’s crossing needs the assistance of a lullaby and a spot of rocking – not the boat – but the book or more accurately, Tiger. She’s safely over but her balloon is adrift. Last comes long-legged Stork but OH! NO! Mouse’s drifting balloon is dangerously close to her beak … Breath-holding anticipation by audience before …


One very startled, wide-awake Tiger. What’s next? Surprise! For Tiger perhaps though maybe not listeners; think balloons, think sing along for a very special day …
Great fun to share – for both children and adult readers aloud.


A Puppy’s Tale
Alan Windram and Chloë Holwill-Hunter
Little Door Books
Georgie is a small puppy with a lively interest in things around her. So much so that one day while out walking she strays from the path in pursuit of a bouncing frog. Her attempts at jumping like the frog are unsuccessful and suddenly, the frog jumps off home.


The same thing happens when she encounters a hopping rabbit and a scuttling red squirrel; she cannot hop like the rabbit, or run fast like the squirrel. None of the animals stay to play with Georgie. Tired and lost, she sits and cries, watched from above by a kindly blackbird. After hearing of Georgie’s failed attempts to emulate the other animals, the blackbird offers to help her find the way back to her own home …


With its patterned text and action words to join in with, this gentle tale of friendship is a good one to offer those just starting to read for themselves, as well as to share with early years groups who will enjoy the opportunity to jump, hop and scuttle like the animals Georgie meets and Chloë Holwill-Hunter amusingly portrays.