Based on a Tibetan myth, a sound in the forest sets all the animals running for their lives from the Terrible Plop.
The language used is wonderfully repetitive and playfully rhythmic, with a wide variety of interesting words used – from striking ‘describing’ and ‘action’ words, to a plethora of animal names.
The story lends itself to great character voices and different tones. The repetition of “the terrible plop!” allows children to participate and chorus along with an adult reader, which assists engagement.
The lexical choices support vocabulary development, rhyme and sight-word recognition.
The ‘hero’ of the story being the youngest, smallest, most frightened creature helps young children realise the potential of themselves as brave, clever characters in their own lives.
Best Book for Language Development: Lower Primary (5-8 years)
The Gobbling Tree fires the imagination of children as they search for
numerous items and problem solve with innovative solutions.
The elements of suspense throughout the book, keep the reader hooked and wondering what the tree could possibly gobble up next!
The Gobbling Tree provides some great examples of the “magic” of words. Witty rhyme, repetition and onomatopoeia (eg swish which imitates the sound associated) are used in such a way that the story is bound to engage readers and expand their vocabulary.
Higher-order thinking is promoted through mystery, ridiculous concepts and
prediction, while bright colourful illustrations engage children in this great read-aloud book.There is a strong narrative format, and the circular ending lends itself to oral language extension and text innovation tasks. The characters are readily identifiable and from a range of ages and genders.
Best Book for Language Development: Upper Primary (8-12 years)
Noodle Pie by Ruth Starke
‘Andy’ is trying to maintain his Aussie identity in an unfamiliar place.
This humorous perspective on differing ways of life lifts Noodle Pie above other more sombre stories tackling the big issues of refugees, cultural differences, poverty and familial obligations.
Pages turn faster with a smile as the everyday language used conjures up comical images.The author has captured the essence of Vietnam using vivid language to describe the people, their communication styles, and their lives.
…at home he talked to his parents in ‘Vietlish’ – although it was more English than Vietnamese. He was suddenly nervous…you might think you were asking someone to pass the salt, but what you were actually saying was “pass me the nose”, or “pass me ten”, or “pass me the smell.” The same word meant all four things.
The content aligns to the upper primary curriculum promoting educational conversations to explore new ideas and concepts resulting in expanded personal and cultural knowledge. It is gripping and engaging with its problem-solving themes, while also embracing a sense of the ridiculous by the language used.