Who has been stealing and nibbling bits of Rollo's little red ball? Mick Inkpen has introduced three new characters in a picture book about helping others and forming friendships; Rollo the cat, Little Fluffy Bird (known as LFB in the book), and Ruff the rat. Rollo and LFB together try to solve the mystery of who has been stealing bits of the red ball, and following the footsteps, they come to a stinky creature asleep in LFB's nest. Rollo and LFB then have to lure Ruff out of hiding using a trail of sweeties, to ultimately help him to feel at home and become his friend.
Mick Inkpen has created a charming and beautifully illustrated picture book following a story of friendship and helping others. The illustrations are simple yet effective, successfully portraying the personalities of the characters involved. Rollo is a curious little cat, LFB is a sweet, helpful bird and Ruff is a timid, frightened rat. The physical traits of these characteristics can be seen through the detail to their facial expressions. The illustrations are not vivid and eye-catching, they incorporate pastel colours, and follow the somewhat gentle pace of the story.
The language used is brilliant children up to the age of six, incorporating words such as “plink” and “tap” could really allow the children to appreciate the words and the sounds that they make, and together with the images, they can begin to associate sounds to everyday items – which would make it a useful tool when studying phonics. I think any young child would love this book, it is gentle, engaging and beautifully written. The story is easy to follow, but allows room for interaction, question prompting and children would be able to associate with the themes of helping others and forming friendships. The book would be ideal to read aloud to the class during story time, but it could also be used as a basis for other curriculum subjects such as art, citizenship, literacy and phonics.
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- Reading Age: 3-6
- Reading Aloud Age: 3-6
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