Mellow Mummy: Children's Book Review - The Toucan Brothers by Tor Freeman : Taking life as it comes...

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Children's Book Review - The Toucan Brothers by Tor Freeman

The Toucan Brothers turned up at our house rather out of the blue but as soon as I laid eyes on it, I absolutely knew that it was going to be a hit with Lara who always enjoys reviewing new books.  The illustrations throughout the book instantly reminded me of the busy world of Richard Scarry (who I believe was a very strong inspiration behind Tor Freeman's illustrative style) and as I quickly scanned through the story I could see that the rhymes were fun and in some cases cheeky!

I was right.  That night I read The Toucan Brothers to Lara and she immediately wanted me to read it again. In fact, for the last 10 days I think we must have read it to her at least twice every evening!  She is beginning to know the words off by heart.

The story is of two brothers who are honest and reliable plumbers (!) who get driven out of business by a new arrival in town - Flash Rover.  I guess it is a lesson about how cheaper doesn't necessarily mean better; and about how getting a job done properly and politely is always the better option.  I'm sure that there is a message in there about commercial pressures and competition but I think that may be a little lost on Lara right now.

I think that the attraction to Lara is the fun rhyme.  You may know how I feel about rhyming stories for kids... well, this one passed my test!  I found the rhyme easy to read throughout the whole book (there was only one line I felt was a bit unnatural) and most evenings I actually quite enjoy reading it to Lara.  I like to see Lara giggle when rabbit falls down the toilet and smile when the two Toucan brothers come to the rescue.

As Lara gets to know the story better she now spends more time exploring the pictures.  Each scene is so detailed and every time you look at a page you notice another amusing little detail.  The animal characters are all behaving like people and the style is recognisable from some of Tor Freeman's other books such as Showtime for Billie and Coco (which Lara loved, but I didn't enjoy anywhere near as much as The Toucan Brothers).

I think this book is great fun for children from about 3/4 right up to 11/12 year olds as there are different things that everyone can take away from it.

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