I’ll Believe You When …
Susan Schubert and Raquel Bonita
Subtitled ‘Unbelievable idioms from around the world’ this is such a clever and fun book that begins on the title page with a child asking “Do you see the dragon?”
What follows is the response –, “ I’ll believe you … “ “… when pigs fly!” and it then goes on to show that nine other countries each has its own unique version of the idiom.
There are frogs growing hair from Spain, chickens with teeth in Nigeria,
herons turning black in the Philippines, summer snow in Germany.
The Netherlands offer cows dancing on ice and India, ‘when crows fly upside down!’
It’s impossible to choose a favourite but I wouldn’t mind betting that you or someone you share this book with will adopt some of these. And imagine what fun you might have if you challenge a class of six or seven year olds to come up with their own ideas and illustrate them.
It’s a terrific way to introduce the notion of idioms and the idea that they’ve been passed on from ages back as well as across the globe. There’s an explanation at the end of the book as well as a world map showing where each expression comes from and the language it’s spoken in.
Raquel Bonita’s illustrations are absolutely super: inclusive and funny at the same time.
Wonderful nonsense yes, but equally the classroom potential is huge, especially if you involve families. Emmanuelle (7) contributed “I’ll believe you when ponies grow scales” and her mum from Hungary told me that there they say, “I will believe you when it’s snowing red snowflakes.”