Birds of a Feather: A book of idioms and silly pictures by Vanita Oelschlager and illustrated by Robin Hegan, non-fiction picture book, published by Vanita Books in 2009.
Learn the meaning of some common idioms from the English language in this fun book for children. Each page contains one idiom, accompanied by a lovely and silly illustration. This is a great way to introduce idioms to kids of all ages.
The pictures were definitely my favourite part of this book. All of them were appropriate for the idiom it was illustrating, and they were all quite funny. They showed the literal meaning of each one, while the text explained the metaphorical meaning. I liked the ‘raining cats and dogs’ illustration best. Here ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ was depicted as being like a raccoon, yet this phrase has always made me think of possums!
The meaning of each idiom was explained and used in a simple sentence to demonstrate its usage. This text was small and upside down in the corner of the illustration. I didn’t like this, and I’m not sure why it was done this way. It just made it harder to read in a setting where it wasn’t answering a question, and I didn’t think it warranted being upside down.
Overall Birds of a Feather was quite good, and I think it would be suitable to share with pre-schoolers and primary school students.
*I obtained this book as a digital copy from Netgalley. I did not receive any other remuneration, and this is an honest review composed entirely of my own opinions.
Willakaville: Amazing Adventures of Astronomical Awesomeness by Mathew Heinecke, e-book, 166 pages, published through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform in 2015.
Willakaville is a fictional town where many strange things occur. This is the first collection of short stories from Willakaville. Adventure, time travel, a Tomatozilla, banana men, giant squirrels, even a toilet paper thief, it’s all happening in Willakaville.
Some of the stories are long and some are short, but all are rather odd! Many of them made me laugh, but there were a couple that I found a bit boring. Some of the stories are just ridiculous, and those were the ones that I liked the best. It was very hard to pick a favourite story, though I’m leaning towards the one about the magic mayonnaise that had a very interesting effect on all those that ate it! There were plenty of lessons being learnt throughout the book too, such as not to be lazy or play too many computer games. Most of the stories feature different characters from Willakaville, but there is some overlap. The main characters of each story arepredominantly children.
The book also contained a few poems. I’ve found it hard to get my kids interested in poetry books, so this is a nice way to slip a few poems in without them really noticing! ‘Wish from a Fish’ and ‘This is a Cat…’ were both funny rhyming poems, which I enjoyed.
With it’s simple language, self-contained and easy to read stories, this book is suitable for lower to middle primary school children. Teenagers and adults can still enjoy the humour of these short stories, but I think kids will like it best. There is a second volume of Willakaville short stories available now, and hopefully more to come soon.
*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.