What a laugh aloud tale! The author- illustrator has worked out a repetitive format which very young children will soon grasp. A tortoise rings the bell. ‘Ding dong! Special delivery! I’m delivering a new baby to this address.’ We see a baby mouse being delivered to an astonished bird, who says, ‘I’m sorry there’s been a mistake. That’s not my brother.’ ‘No, No, I’m afraid I don’t make mistakes. This is the right house. Bye bye.’ More strange deliveries are repeated, with the same text each time; the mouse is followed by a kitten, then a puppy, a walrus, a baby giraffe and even a baby elephant! Poor bird. She tries her best to keep all the babies happy, but on a double spread we see lots of tears – and havoc from all these delivered babes. Thank goodness, when the bell next rings a delivery company manager (a large grey stork) is on the doorstep. He explains that his assistant, a sorry looking tortoise, has made a few mistakes…. And so, a crowd of irate parents are reunited with their youngsters… (‘Hello angel,’ calls mother elephant through a window.) And thankfully, there is a very special delivery for the bird. This is the kind of book which demands an immediate re-read. Further examinations show just how skilfully the author has paced the story, building up a tension and engaging youngsters in the reading by the clever use of repetition. His page layouts change as the story builds, from a sparse first page, in limited colour palette to the chaos of the overflowing page before the deliveries are corrected. There is so much to enjoy, and very young children will join in the repeated text eagerly. Opportunities too for dramatic production, in pre-school situations!
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