I Am So Strong by Mario Ramos
|I Am So Strong by Mario Ramos|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A gret story which ticks a lot of boxes for the 4+ age group. Characters they'll know are introduced into the story and we see the bully get his comeuppance. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: October 2012|
|Publisher: Gecko Press|
|External links: Author's website|
There's no hiding the fact that the wolf is a bully. After he's had his meal (obviously it was a good one) he goes for a walk in the woods to aid the digestion and to find out what everyone thinks of him. First he meets a little rabbit, who agrees that the wolf is the strongest around here. Full of the joy of being him he strides on and gets pretty much the same response from Red Riding Hood, the three little pigs and the seven dwarfs. In fact this must be the best day ever for the wolf - until he meets 'the little toad of some sort' and finds that he's met his match. I'm not going to tell you how - you'll have to read the book to find out!
There's a subdued air of menace in everything that the wolf says. Rabbit is Sugar Bun. Red Riding Hood is sweet enough to eat and my little strawberry. The three little pigs are little bacon bits. He might not be saying it, but you get a sense of a menu forming in his mind and there's a clear message that bullying is not just about overt physical threats. When 'the little toad of some sort' stands up to the wolf there's something else that it's worth a child knowing. Bullies are cowards and they're best beaten with calm reason.
The book is funny too. The wolf is an unpleasant character but he's a brilliant comic creation with his strutting pride. The links to other childhood stories work well too - remember that children have seen many of these characters suffer at the hands of the wolf and it's deeply satisfying to see him get his comeuppance. I had to read it again straight away - and then give it to someone else so that they could enjoy it too.
The text is good - there's no patronising of children here and there's a feeling that there's no reason why they shouldn't get used to some of these big words sooner rather than later. The illustrations are big and bold and complement the story perfectly. Look out for the bird who's watching everything that happens with a quizzical look on his face. It's a book to enjoy and to keep but perhaps not for the youngest pre-schoolers. I'd like to thank the publishers for dropping a copy into the Bookbag.
for a slightly different approach to the Red Riding Hood story we can recommend Red Riding Hood and the Sweet Little Wolf by Rachel Mortimer and Liz Pichon.
You can read more book reviews or buy I Am So Strong by Mario Ramos at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy I Am So Strong by Mario Ramos at Amazon.com.
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