Blood and Guts and Rats' Tail Pizza by Vivian French and Chris Fisher
|Blood and Guts and Rats' Tail Pizza by Vivian French and Chris Fisher|
|Category: Emerging Readers|
|Reviewer: Margaret Young|
|Summary: Snips and snails and puppy dog tails (or in this case rat tails) - that's what this little boy's lunch is made of in this fun early reader from acclaimed author Vivian French.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 80||Date: April 2013|
|Publisher: Orion Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Despite a revolting menu with dishes like slug and snail stew or rats' tail pizzas, Billy Bone's café was usually packed at lunchtime. Perhaps because there was no other place to eat. All of their customers were male, because neither Billy Bones, nor his assistant Hank liked girls at all. A large sign in the window proclaimed Absolutely No Girls! But one day the customers disappeared - and what was worse, Hank soon discovered their customers had all been stolen by girls. The girls were very large, green and hairy but they were girls nonetheless, and their traveling cake shop had enticed all of Billy Bone's customers away.
This book is highly stereotypical. The boys hate the girls at first but later decide they like them - because girls can cook. And it turns out the boys can cook too - for dogs at least. But my son doesn't really know what stereotypes are, as far as he was concerned it was just plain funny, and in all honesty I had a good laugh myself, because Billy Bone's cooking reminded so much of my husband's. Lets just hope I don't resemble the green hairy monster too much! Sometimes stereotypes can be funny if they aren't taken too far. If you are concerned with books being politically correct, this book will not be for you. But, if you're simply looking for a short funny story that younger children will enjoy listening to, and older children will want to read for themselves this is worth considering. It has plenty of laughs but it does have a lesson as well. It shows the importance of saying you are sorry and doing the right thing. It's a good thing even monsters can be gracious once an apology is offered, and even more shocking, girls can be good friends given the chance.
Blood and Guts at Rat's Tails Pizza is perfect for children making the transition from picture books to chapter books. This book is part of the Orion Early Reader Scheme. The text is large, well spaced and easy to read. There is an excellent colour picture on each page to keep younger children engaged. These books are usually recommended for children between 5 and 7, but it is worth remembering that children do learn to read at different ages. There is also a vast difference in reading ability between a child who has just turned 5 and one who is nearing 6. I would recommend this book as a read a loud story from age 4 - 5. Some confident 5½ year olds will be able to tackle this, but other children may need a little bit longer. I would recommend this for children ages 6 or at least nearly 6, up through age 7 for independent reading. I found this book comparable to level 6 or perhaps 7 on the Oxford Reading Tree scale, or book bands orange - turquoise. While the vocabulary of these books will be as challenging as many chapter books, like Horrid Henry, I found the shorter stories, frequent text breaks and plentiful illustrations worked wonders with my oldest son's confidence when he was learning to read. My youngest isn't quite ready to start reading yet, but he really enjoyed this as a read aloud story and I'm sure the book will come into use again when he is old enough to read it alone.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy:
You can read more book reviews or buy Blood and Guts and Rats' Tail Pizza by Vivian French and Chris Fisher at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Blood and Guts and Rats' Tail Pizza by Vivian French and Chris Fisher at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.