Desert Rose by Alison Jackson and Keith Graves

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Desert Rose by Alison Jackson and Keith Graves

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Buy Desert Rose by Alison Jackson and Keith Graves at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A fun tale of a hog-rearin' Texas gal who has to deal with a highfalutin' hog, persnickety snake and a bothersome bronco. Children will love playing with language, and adults will love acting out all the characters with a variety of accents. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 40 Date: February 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 978-1408802199

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Desert Rose is mucking out the pig stalls, when she stumbles across a giant gold nugget. She decides to buy the fattest hog in Texas, so she can win first prize at the state fair - a gal's gotta have a dream. However, she gets one highfalutin hog who won't do as it's told, so she ropes in all the other inhabitants of Laredo to help her out, and win the prize.

Desert Rose is great fun. There's plenty of ol' timey Texan language like You are one persnickety snake and Well, tickle my tailfeathers! Do the accent when reading it alive, and really give it some gusto, and you'll have the little 'uns creased up with laughter. It's a book for really letting your hair down and being silly with. The story itself is perfectly clear, even for the youngest of readers, but they get an opportunity to also see language being played with and enjoyed. It works brilliantly.

The story itself is a little like There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly - she needs a coyote to nip the hog to make it do what it's told, but needs a snake to wake the coyote, a cowboy to spur the snake, a bronco to buck the cowboy, and so on. The tension builds up and up, as the chain of events becomes more and more inevitable, until it all unwinds in a delicious flurry of action. Yes, it may well be the sort of story we've seen before, but it's all told with such verve and a fresh new angle that you don't mind for a second.

Keith Graves' illustrations suit the story perfectly: they're cartoony and silly, but don't have that charmless slickness that so much TV and film animation can have. The characters are wonderfully original, and their separate traits come shining through. The Texan prairies look great, and the Western atmosphere has been captured superbly. It's a fine addition to any bookshelf. Recommended.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

The Wide-Mouthed Frog by Iain Smyth and Michael Terry is another enjoyable picture book that builds to delicious pay-off. Atchoo! The Complete Guide To Good Manners by Mij Kelly and Mary McQuillan also has an enjoyable cast of animals and has a similar sense of humour to Desert Rose.

Buy Desert Rose by Alison Jackson and Keith Graves at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Desert Rose by Alison Jackson and Keith Graves at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Desert Rose by Alison Jackson and Keith Graves at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Desert Rose by Alison Jackson and Keith Graves at Amazon.com.

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