Whoops! by Suzi Moore; illustrated by Russell Ayto (2015)

[Published by Templar]


The out-loud-reading-speed-test is a wee invention of mine, that gives a fairly accurate indication of how fun a picture book is to read aloud. It’s pretty scientific/mathematical, so I won’t bore you with all the formulae, but, in simple terms, if I find myself reading a book really fast by the end, it means it’s a winner.

As I trial-read Whoops! to my husband while he cooked dinner, I accelerated to such speeds, he nearly lost his eyebrows. A definite A+ on that test paper.IMG_1913

“This is the cat
who didn’t know how,
she didn’t know
how to say MEOW.”

It’s not just the cat with vocalisation issues, her friends dog and mouse are also decidedly voiceless. The owl recommends a visit to the old lady at the tumbledown house who will have just the spell for the silent trio.

“She went to look at her big spell book.
She cast a spell but the whole house shook.
Then the wind blew in.
And the rain came down.
And the tumbledown house
turned round and round.”

Her first attempts at spell casting are not hugely successful, so the whole process is repeated… several times. Finally everything is right with the world again, the cat miaows, the dog barks and the mouse squeaks. And the little old lady? Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out what happens to her!

A whole bunch of fun in a very stylish package.

Check out Whoops! at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Whoops! from Fishpond.

[Recommended by Pranita – thanks Pranita, excellent taste as always!]


The cow that laid an egg by Andy Cutbill; illustrated by Russell Ayto (2007)

Isn’t Marjorie the cow adorable? I loved her the from the moment I first saw her, and she and I have been friends for years.

Marjorie is having a bad time, because all the other cows have spectacular skills, like riding bicycles and doing handstands, while Marjorie just feels so ordinary.

The chickens hatch a cunning plan, and the next morning Marjorie announces loudly, “I’ve laid an egg!”

The whole world gets pretty excited about this, as I’m sure you can imagine, and Marjorie relishes being the centre of attention. The other cows however are less than impressed and wait with interest to see just what exactly is going to hatch from this egg.

This was my go-to book when I had an unexpected school class visit at the library, the kids always loved it. It’s more suited to a slightly older audience as the humour is subtle, well, picture book subtle! Lots of fun.

Check out The cow that laid an egg at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy The cow that laid an egg from Fishpond.