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

Wednesday 19 July 2023

Review: Baa Baa Black Belt

Baa Baa Black Belt is a funny picture book.

A sheep, known only as Baa Baa Black Belt, claims to be the farm's 'mighty warrior', someone who can perform leaps and flips and spinning back kicks. Or so he thinks. Oh, and Black Belt has a student, a pig named Pork Chop.

While the text tells one story, that of a sheep famous for martial arts, the pictures tell another, with the sheep not quite as clever as he thinks. Or perhaps it's a case of telling tall tales.

A special kick aimed at the scarecrow goes awry and Black Belt is seeing stars, but as he tells it his moves are pretty sweet.

While he's strutting around thinking he's the boss, the other farm animals think he's 'cracking up' and acting arrogantly. It's up to them to show Black Belt that he's not better than they are.

Author and illustrator Gain Aung Than has a great cartoon style, and the rhyming story of Baa Baa Black Belt is vibrant and expressive. The thematic endpapers are a collage of the sheep in realistic 'kata' poses, with the white line drawings particularly effective on a black background and likely to inspire budding martial artists.

One for bedtime, or individual enjoyment. Baa Baa Black Belt has big appeal as a read aloud story.

Title: Baa Baa Black Belt
Author/Illustrator: Gavin Aung Than
Publisher: Scholastic Australia, $ 18.99
Publication Date: July 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781761290534
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book