Book Title: The Gobble Degook Book (available here)
Author: Joy Cowley
Illustrator: Giselle Clarkson
Publisher: Gecko Press
Publication Date: Sept 2019
Most Suitable For: KS1 & Lower KS2
Reviewed By: Rachael Collins
The Gobble DeGook Book is a joyful collection of previously published poems and short stories by Joy Cowley (one of New Zealand’s most popular children’s writers), brought together in a bright and inviting anthology with engaging illustrations from Giselle Clarkson. From the very first poem, The Tiny Woman’s Coat, the book is packed full of poems that are fun to read aloud and listen to. The subjects of the poems and stories are mostly set in an everyday context, but made more farcical. The interactions of animals with people run through most of the stories and poems. The anthology contains an enjoyable mix of poems that could build vocabulary, with nonsense words and phrases thrown in. The rhyme and repetition make most of these poems ideal to read aloud and perform, especially by children themselves. The short stories also included in the book are entertaining and easy to engage with. Cowley still uses patterned and repetitive language, making these accessible stories for children wanting to read aloud to others. The design style of the anthology playful and page layouts give subtle clues to help children perform the poems aloud. The sizing of the font and spacing between lines mean that it is an easy book to share and perform in groups. The colours and patterns give extra meaning and emphasis at times, acting as a pointer as to what words children need to pay more attention to when performing. Giselle Clarkson’s whimsical illustrations interact with the text beautifully; the poems are often used for the illustrations to ‘rest’ on.
This is a perfect choice for reading aloud to KS1 or Year 3 and a great one for children to develop their poetry performance skills.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Rachael for reviewing it.
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