This is not a story book, so much as a poetic reference book. Many creatures of the seashore are skillfully described using imagery and sound devices, and children will love to hear this book recited aloud as the cadence of the poetry is reminiscent of nursery rhyme.
The language is also chatty and colloquial and children will feel connected to the lives of those who inhabit the seashore. Anne Hunter features creatures, which are not the usual subjects of children’s books. Sea anemones, sea sponges, katipo, even seaweed are all included and are named in English and te reo Māori.
The large illustrations (taking up double pages) are colourful and detailed and important features are labelled, so that there is always the opportunity to explore the subject in greater depth. The “Fascinating Facts” section at the back of the book also supplements the verse with further details about each creature, so this book can satisfy a very young child with its lilting sounds, but also has scope to enrich the knowledge of an older child wanting to know more about life on the seashore.
Title: Twinkle, Tickle, Little Star
Author: Anne Hunter
Illustrator: Dave Gunson
Publisher: New Holland Publishers
Date of Publication: 1 February 2020
Age Range: Picturebook -Junior
Reviewer: Carola Crawford, English teacher, Karanga Mai Young Parents’ College, Canterbury
How highly are you recommending this book? Recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? “Swishily, swooshily, hear the ocean snore… foaming surf brings sticks and shells and stones ashore.”
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