Fatou, Fetch the Water by Neil Griffiths and Peggy Collins

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Fatou, Fetch the Water by Neil Griffiths and Peggy Collins

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Although Fatou proves to be forgetful this is a memorable little story with lively, appealing illustrations and lots to talk about with your little ones afterwards.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 28 Date: June 2010
Publisher: Red Robin Books
ISBN: 978-1905434169

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Fatou is on her way to the well to collect water for dinner, but as she goes she is waylaid by various friends who have gifts and messages for Fatou to take for her mother. As the gifts pile up in Fatou's arms, and the messages for her mother crowd her head Fatou, somehow, forgets to get any water!

This is a very simple story, but it's so well told. The anticipation builds as you see Fatou's arms full of gifts to carry. I actually thought that she would drop the water on herself, since she's carrying the bucket on her head, but then she forgets to get any altogether. This idea seemed to really appeal to my four year old (perhaps because she's always very easily distracted so will be sent to wash her hands and then be found just seconds later playing with something she came across on her way to the bathroom!) Anyway, there's a definite charm to Fatou since we read it and read it again, and then read it a few more times again!

Fatou has a lovely bright smile, and the crowded pictures give a real flavour of village life in The Gambia. There are lots of colourful fabrics to see, and fun things to look at on Fatou's way to the well. I liked the repetition of everyone calling out Fatou's name to attract her attention and give her another gift in return for some favour her mother has done for them. Each call is different in some way, and the text increases in size encouraging the reader to really shout out FATOU!

There's a lot to talk about with this story. Even just the fact that Fatou is having to go and fetch water from a well, carrying the bucket on her head, makes for an interesting discussion. Then within the story there are some words that come up that might need explaining such as eggplants, baobab tree and dalasis. Fortunately there's a two page explanation at the end of the book which tells you all about The Gambia, about different foods, traditional clothing and currency which was interesting for me as well as my daughter.

This is a lovely story just to share on a one-to-one basis, but I could also see it working well within an early years classroom setting too, especially with the extra information that is given at the end. Definitely recommended!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: You might also enjoy reading Marvin's Funny Dance by Sarah McConnell.

Buy Fatou, Fetch the Water by Neil Griffiths and Peggy Collins at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Fatou, Fetch the Water by Neil Griffiths and Peggy Collins at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Fatou, Fetch the Water by Neil Griffiths and Peggy Collins at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Fatou, Fetch the Water by Neil Griffiths and Peggy Collins at Amazon.com.


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