Book Review – ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’ by Donaldson, J. & Scheffler, A.
A Squash and a Squeeze is a picture book about an old lady who requires more room in her house. With the help of an old man and a few farmyard animals a rather unconventional solution is provided. There is also a slight moral or talking point at the end of the story which could be discussed with a group of children. The book is so enjoyable with children, as an audience you do not really know what idea the old man has until towards the end and questions could be posed to the children throughout.
New animated and colourful pictures are discovered with each turn of the page and illustrate exactly what is going on in the story, which is perfect for a group of younger children. The story has poetic rhyme throughout and in fact can reads very well with a beat and has some lines of pentameter. Children will find this book interesting and fun. The book applies repetition well repeating the chorus of the poem/story with each new animal added to the house, which allows young children to follow the story as there are few complications or new things to process. This repetition also allows children to become familiar with words and sounds within the book. There is a great use of synonyms for the word small within this book, as the size of the little old lady’s house is repeated as each animal is added Donaldson uses a different word to mean small.
In a lesson you could use this book for teaching about a variety of themes, most notably for poetic rhyme.
The synonyms used within this book could be used with children, they could write a short story or sentence and could use a thesaurus to either make their sentence more interesting or just see how many words they could replace and the sentence still make sense. I would probably use this idea of work with a thesaurus with roughly year 5’s; with this age the sentences from the book could just be taken.
The book could also be used to lead on to such topics as animals and farms. Younger children could use this story when taking part in free play if there are any farmyard animals to play with.
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