Book Title: Up The Creek (available here)
Author/Illustrator: Nicholas Oldland
Publisher: Pikku Publishing
Publication Date: April 2016
Most Suitable For: EYFS & Reception
Reviewed By: Nia Talbot, Assistant Head
This book is part of a wider series of picture books called Life in the Wild, following the lives of bear, moose and beaver. The series promotes a love of the great outdoors, conservation and teamwork.
In Up The Creek, best friends bear, moose and beaver go canoeing together. You realise quite quickly that although they are best friends, they disagree a lot and each likes to get his own way. For classrooms, this is a great teaching point – how many of us have had children in our class who are ‘best friends’ but fall out with each other often, shouting “I’m not your friend any more” at each other! The story would be a great way to address that people can have different ideas but still be good friends.
As the story develops, the trio realise that they need to work together to get out of a perilous (and very wet) situation. Nicholas Oldland explores the fact that each of the animals brings a different but equally important skill to the table in order to help them navigate this situation – both metaphorically and physically! There is lots of visual humour in the illustrations, particularly in characters' facial expressions and the numerous asides developed throughout the story.
If you want a book series that simply explores teamwork, communication and cooperation, then Up the Creek is for you. This is part of a picture book series that children will love to listen to but also deals with the themes of working together, listening to others and the fact that sometimes you need to try things out before you know what works. All of the books are set outdoors and show the animals interacting with their natural habitats.
Also in the series: Making the Moose Out of Life, The Busy Beaver, Walk on the Wild Side, Big Bear Hug. See http://pikkupublishing.com/our-books/ for more details.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Nia for reviewing it.
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