It's a Groovy World, Alfredo! by Sean Taylor and Chris Garbutt

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It's a Groovy World, Alfredo! by Sean Taylor and Chris Garbutt

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Buy It's a Groovy World, Alfredo! by Sean Taylor and Chris Garbutt at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Z J Cookson
Reviewed by Z J Cookson
Summary: A bright, busy and fun story about friendship and fitting in that will be enjoyed by picture book readers of all ages.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: June 2015
Publisher: Walker Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1406324136

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Cool boogie-style. Speedy Heebie-Jeebies. Silky-smooth moving and grooving. These are the three dances that Marty tries to teach his friend, Alfredo. But Alfredo can't dance. Every time he tries the same thing happens – he goes Jump, Jump, Jump and looks like a duck on a trampoline. Alfredo is worried that everyone will laugh at him. But he doesn't need to worry because he's about to introduce his own form of groovy dancing – the Jump-Jump-Jumping Jive!

The most striking thing about It's a Groovy World, Alfredo! is the bold bright colours that fill the busy pages and the highly stylised main characters. I immediately loved the cartoon-style fly, Marty, who appears on the first page chatting away on his mobile phone. The book's main character, Alfredo is equally appealing although I did wonder what type of animal, insect or creature Alfredo is supposed to be: a large green head with big white eyes and teeth and incredibly long bendy legs. I thought maybe he was a grasshopper (which seemed to fit as his best friend is a fly and he loves to jump) but a quick peek at the blurb on the publisher's website revealed that Alfredo is supposed to be a Frog.

Luckily it doesn't really matter to the story whether the reader knows that Alfredo is a Frog or whether, like me, the reader assumes he's another type of creature. We know he can't help jumping and we understand his friend Marty's determination to teach him to dance.

Illustrator Chris Garbutt, has done an excellent job depicting the movement – using dotted lines and arrows – as Marty tries to demonstrate the different components of each dance. Younger children might need some help to understand what Marty is doing but they won't need the same when they turn the page to see Alfredo trying to copy. Alfredo may not look much like a frog but his face does have huge expression and we can almost see his thought process as he lifts one leg, then the other as he tries to replicate his friend's groovy moves. The pictures also clearly show us his distress as he fails to manage each new dance.

The more active young readers might want to use Marty's instructions to try the dances themselves. And, if they struggle, they will feel fine because they'll simply be like our hero Alfredo and even the youngest child won't have a problem with his 'Jump-Jump-Jumping Jive'.

Overall this is a hugely enjoyable story about friendship and fitting in. Adults will enjoy reading the descriptions of familiar dances while children can have fun trying the moves for themselves.

If you loved Alfredo's story, you might want to try one of the author's other books. Try Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor and Jean Jullien. If the colourful pictures appealed, you might also enjoy Pizza for Pirates by Adam Guillain, Charlotte Guillain and Lee Wildish.

Buy It's a Groovy World, Alfredo! by Sean Taylor and Chris Garbutt at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy It's a Groovy World, Alfredo! by Sean Taylor and Chris Garbutt at Amazon.co.uk


Buy It's a Groovy World, Alfredo! by Sean Taylor and Chris Garbutt at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy It's a Groovy World, Alfredo! by Sean Taylor and Chris Garbutt at Amazon.com.

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