That's Not How You Do It! by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar

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That's Not How You Do It! by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: With plenty of opportunities to join in, this is a funny story with a gentle lesson.
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2016
Publisher: Child's Play (International) Ltd
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781846439285

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Lucy the cat knows how to do everything. Yes, she is one of those dreadful know-it-alls who can build a tower, play the xylophone, eat with a knife and name it, she can do it! Everyone knows that she's the best at all of these things, so she's the one they go to if they need help. One day, however, there's a new panda in town, Toshi, and Lucy watches him and sees that he doesn't know how to do anything right at all! His music is strange, and he eats differently to everyone else, and he can't make paper stars, only some weird-looking bird! Lucy finds this more and more frustrating until she suddenly can't contain herself any longer and she tells Toshi that he's doing everything wrong…

This is really a rather lovely little story. I do like know-it-all Lucy, having endured my own little know-it-all daughter who was simply dreadful when she was three but is proving to be much less big-headed now that she's ten (thank goodness!). It's fun to see Lucy managing to do all sorts of different things, and of course there's plenty of opportunity for your little ones to interject with all the many copious things that they can manage to do all by themselves.

When Toshi arrives, then the opportunity for little listeners to join in arises. Each time Lucy watches him doing something, such as eating his food with chopsticks, doing tai chi rather than gymnastics, and making a pagoda from the bricks rather than a tower, we hear Lucy muttering to herself that's NOT how you do it! The pattern repeats, so children can merrily join in, getting louder and louder as Lucy gets more and more cross! When Lucy finally completely loses her temper and shouts at Toshi, Toshi merely hands her the origami paper crane that he's made and says that it's for her. Soon they are sharing techniques, so she teaches Toshi how to make a star, and he teaches Lucy how to make a crane, and all is calm again! The message, about understanding and respecting everyone's differences, is subtly placed, but it is an important one to learn.

As well as being a funny story with a message, the book also has rather lovely illustrations. Lucy and Toshi are very simply, but very sweetly drawn. The pictures are very colourful and appealing. I particularly like the line of animals waiting to ask Lucy for help, with a hedgehog who is unable to blow bubbles, a duck with an unwound yoyo looking very puzzled (we've all been there!) and, my favourite, a bemused rabbit holding an unpeeled banana! I also really like Lucy's temper tantrum explosion which is a full face scream of frustration, balanced by the following page which is a picture of Toshi, smiling oh so sweetly and giving Lucy his paper crane.

This is easy to follow, enjoyable to read, and fun to share with multiple children all merrily shouting that's NOT how you do it! Perhaps a little lively for settling down to sleep, but perfect for any other time of day!

Further reading suggestion: For other stories about celebrating our differences try Elmer by David McKee or The Littlest Dinosaur by Michael Foreman.

Buy That's Not How You Do It! by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy That's Not How You Do It! by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar at

Buy That's Not How You Do It! by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy That's Not How You Do It! by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar at


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