Don't Do That! by Tony Ross

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Don't Do That! by Tony Ross

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: How many times do you think you have said 'Don't do that!' to a small child who has then gone right ahead and ignored you? I can't count the times that this has happened with me and my daughters as they always think that they know better! This is why most parents will enjoy Tony Ross's delightful picture book 'Don't Do That!' as it does demonstrate quite well that adults often do know best. Children will also love this tale as it features the delightful habit of nose picking!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: september 2010
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
ISBN: 978-1842709368

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In this story we meet a little girl called Nellie who is fortunate to have a very pretty nose. She wins competitions and gets the best part in the Christmas play because of that nose. However, during a rehearsal, the teacher suddenly shouts out 'Don't do that!' as he notices Nellie and her fellow angels with their fingers sticking up their noses. Unfortunately Nellie's finger becomes stuck fast and she is sent home for her parents to remove it. It is impossible though which sets off a chain of events where all sorts of people attempt to remove the offending finger but all in vain. They all go to extreme lengths such as tying Nellie to the back of a tractor or sending her up into space. Throughout all of this, Nellie's brother Henry keeps declaring that he knows how to get the finger out but he is always ignored. You might think that is probably a good thing when you take a look at the brilliant illustrations and notice some of the hazardous implements he is holding at various times. So can any of the sensible grown ups help Nellie or is she facing a future with a permanent finger up her nose? But then again, Henry is very persistent...

'Don't Do That!' is a brilliant picture book that had my daughters giggling the first time that we read it and every time since. It's the sort of story they are not going to tire of and one that will be read again and again. The absurdity of Nellie's fate is so appealing and the hilarious illustrations that accompany all the finger removing attempts just add so much more. Tony Ross is also the illustrator and he has a unique style where he gives most of his characters bulging eyes and pointed noses. Anyone familiar with his Little Princess series will quickly spot many similarities. The illustrations certainly merit a close look especially because it is through these that much of the storytelling occurs. Also if your child is very observant they might spot a striped gloved hand in most pictures. We are not quite sure what it is doing there but it has become a game between my two girls to see who can spot the mysterious gloved hand first.

This is a simple story that is very well told. The language is nicely accessible for young children and the content is sure to appeal. Also, there is a lot of repetition within the story which will mean that it won't take long before little ones are joining in or even taking over the telling. I definitely think parents will like the fact that there is also a moral in this story proving that there are sometimes very good reasons why grown-ups say 'Don't do that!'

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag. We also have a review of I Want a Boyfriend! by Tony Ross.

If your child enjoys this book, I would suggest taking a look at any of the titles in the Top Ten Books For Children Who Think That Farts Are Funny list.

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Buy Don't Do That! by Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Don't Do That! by Tony Ross at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Don't Do That! by Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Don't Do That! by Tony Ross at


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