What a fantastically engaging book to read out loud. Nicola O’Byrne’s book provides die cut portals into different habitats for a hapless croc called Carter who can’t find his proper home. The book begins with a question and continues with questions to the reader throughout. Well actually the first question has a little threat with it too – ‘Please can you help me find my way home? Or I will eat you.’ Children know it’s in jest but it still reels them in – it certainly did with my audience of children.
The reader/s then have different actions to perform in order to help Carter get through each door. The physical action contributes to making the book more memorable as it makes it even more interactive.
The book works as a chunky hardback – robust enough for the die cast doors throughout and of course for that crocodile to make it through to the right place. The story itself is excellent for context to learn about habitats. Poor Carter keeps going through doors that take him to the wrong place. The illustrations are very funny; one door leads to a desert where he is pictured looking very uncomfortable, one leads to an arctic setting where it is just too cold for him. Carter’s facial expressions are great for discussion-you really do hope he finds the right door just so he is happy after all those wrong doors!
A very interactive, memorable and fun portal adventure to inspire lots more books with holes in once children have the idea.