'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 8 July 2010

Review: How To Do a Belly Flop!

Kids need no excuse for any of the following: fun, food, shenanigans. And all of these are featured in How To Do a Belly Flop! Hurrah!
Shunning the latest hardcover, retro format tomes teaching kids how to do, make, create and perfect a series of challenges essential to the fundom of childhood, this little paperback book with pale green pages and purple writing is just the thing to take on holidays or pore over with a torch in a backyard tent.

Featuring such delights as having a snowball fight in summer, becoming an expert at jacks, climbing a tree, performing realistic birdcalls, making your own blockbuster, telling a ghost story - and most vitally - how to actually attract the attention of the ice cream van - this book will have kids up to their noses in green pages.
The book is dotted with quirky and quite funny illustrations, lots of hand-written text and dot points and distractions to keep young minds entranced.

One thing to keep in mind is that the book is written by Americans for American children, and while there's nothing wrong with that, Australia is already teetering on the precipice of US-cultural-domination as it is. Mastering Americanised games and pastimes may be harmless but it just seems slightly out of kilter when our own Aussie childhood is plentiful with our own generic versions of fun that deserve to be catalogued and enjoyed.

This particular version of the book has been altered for the UK market, making it a tad more in line with readers Down Under.

Overall, however, How To Do a Belly Flop! delivers in that it provides a collection of fun and fantastical 'things to do' for kids. And if that takes them away from their America-saturated tv, computer and internet games, then maybe that's not such a bad thing. Awesome!

Title: How to Do a Belly Flop!
Author: Marc Tyler Nobleman and Dave and Joe Borgenicht
Illustrator: Matt Phillips
Publisher: ABC Books, $9.95 RRP
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780733318061
For ages: 6-12
Type: Information Book