The Phlunk by Lou Rhodes and Tori Elliott

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The Phlunk by Lou Rhodes and Tori Elliott

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Written in rhyme this is a rather unusual picture book that's a pleasure to read aloud with fun illustrations too.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: December 2012
Publisher: Strata Books
ISBN: 978-0957369009

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What is a Phlunk? I know that you're wondering. Well, wonder no more for this book will tell you all about the Phlunk, who lives on a planet shaped like a spoon, looks a bit like a cat but who has very, very large ears. Why, you're now asking, does he have such very large ears? Well, it's all the better to hear you with, of course! And the Phlunk hears everything, from everybody, all over the world!

This is an unusual little picture book story, and rather charming. It feels, strangely, like an alternative religious story since the general idea behind it is that the Phlunk is always listening, so if you ever feel alone and as if no one hears what you are saying, you shouldn't worry because the Phlunk will always hear. Much like a large-eared cat-God! Still, don't be put off by the strange premise because the story has something catchy to it, perhaps thanks to the rhyming text which is reassuringly well written and has none of those jarring rhymes that sometimes creep into children's books as rhymes are desperately searched for!

The illustrations are unusual and interesting to look at. Lots of them are quite dark in colour, since they're set in outer space, but then the black backgrounds make the Phlunk's green cat-eyes really pop out on the page. Sometimes the images being drawn are quite small, with tiny humans drawn upon the Earth, and so against the black background again you're forced to look closely at the images, and the smallness of the people adds to that feeling of the vastness of space, the sense that you can feel a little lost sometimes, but that it's okay because the Phlunk is there!

The final picture is my favourite, as it shows the Phlunk holding the Earth in his hands (paws?!), smiling down on it, with a few little people pictured standing on the globe. I know, it all sounds rather strange, and this isn't your typical picture book, but it went down very well with my little girl and I rather enjoyed it myself. It's nice and quick to read, and I imagine it would work well in a nursery or school setting, just as it did here at home as our bedtime story.

For more alien picture book fun try The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers or Here Come the Aliens! by Colin McNaughton

Buy The Phlunk by Lou Rhodes and Tori Elliott at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Phlunk by Lou Rhodes and Tori Elliott at

Buy The Phlunk by Lou Rhodes and Tori Elliott at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Phlunk by Lou Rhodes and Tori Elliott at


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