Lively Elizabeth! by Mara Bergman and Cassia Thomas

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Lively Elizabeth! by Mara Bergman and Cassia Thomas

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A look at what happens when a lively young girl pushes another child. The poem trips off the tongue and the pictures are lovely. Both a useful and enjoyable read. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: March 2010
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0340988046

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Elizabeth is a lively little girl. She loves stomping around, making a racket and creating an awful kerfuffle. One day she does the thing that she knows she should never do: she pushes Joe Fitzhugh. Joe tumbles into Jonny, who knocks into another child, and on and on and on. Oh dear, Elizabeth! What have you done?

I really enjoyed Lively Elizabeth! The poem flows beautifully - almost reminiscent of Hilaire Belloc with its particular rhythm, and of course featuring a naughty child. On the first reading, there are a couple of points where the layout of the text throws off the rhythm slightly, but once you know what to expect, it ceases to be a problem. The story tumbles along, perfectly in step with the children toppling like dominoes. The after-effects are handled well too, with the right mix of message, understatement, and fun.

Cassia Thomas' illustrations sang to me of Shirley Hughes - no bad thing at all! They have that traditional air to them. There's just the right mix of cute, but they're never cutesy. The rag-tag bunch of kids at nursery school make for plenty of great scenes, as they all stand or fall in the midst of their various activities. There's plenty going on all the time, and it's great to pore over.

As just a story, it's hugely enjoyable. There's also a valuable message too: every child will push or be pushed at some point in their young lives. It's just part of growing up and interacting with other kids. It can come as a big shock to some children, so it's nice to see a story dealing with it so wisely. Pushing ain't right, but it's not the end of the world - apologise, get over it, then have fun playing together instead. The message is perfectly pitched - not hammered home unnecessarily. It doesn't get in the way of the story itself. It's both a useful book and a jolly read. Recommended.

My thanks to the publisher for sending it to Bookbag.

I'm Number One by Michael Rosen and Bob Graham also contains a gentle message - this time about a bossy-boots. Please Don't Torment Tootsie by Margaret Chamberlain is another story advising gentleness, but towards cats rather than people.

Buy Lively Elizabeth! by Mara Bergman and Cassia Thomas at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lively Elizabeth! by Mara Bergman and Cassia Thomas at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Lively Elizabeth! by Mara Bergman and Cassia Thomas at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lively Elizabeth! by Mara Bergman and Cassia Thomas at Amazon.com.


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