What's the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers

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What's the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: The Hueys return in another educational book that mixes learning your opposites with some wry humour.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: July 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780007420728

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When a child is very young they don't have the ability to grasp what their hands are, never mind complex matters of State, but eventually they all must start to learn. One way to achieve this is by reading fun books about the alphabet or numbers, but not all concepts are as clear as letters and numbers. What about the concept of opposites? How do you define to a 16 month year old why one thing is opposite to the other? Thankfully, you don't need to know the answer as the Hueys are on hand to help in their usual irreverent way.

Near and Far. Heavy and Light. All opposites and all a bit dull. The Hueys are a bunch of characters who like to learn, but also like a bit of anarchic fun. A cat may be stuck UP a tree, but you can chop it DOWN to help. The Hueys mix the basic idea of opposites and throw in a few curve balls that make the experience more exciting.

Fans of Oliver Jeffers may know his most popular work Lost and Found, but he has also produces a series of books about the Hueys that concentrate on a different aspect of basic learning. What's the Opposite? is no exception and seeks to explore the world of opposites. By adding a little nonsense the book is immediately lifted from being a mundane here/there book into something far more interesting.

The Hueys are a little like Minions, but not overexposed or as annoying. As well as teaching, they also like to mess around with one another. This might mean a small Huey having to lift a large Huey to show the difference between light and heavy. Throughout the book Jeffers plays with the idea of opposites, whilst also covering the basics. A good example is that the book starts at The Beginning and you are only reminded of the opposite when you get to The End.

With these slight play on words and visual puns the book will fly over the head of the very young. They are best sticking with the very early learning books. However, a 16 month old to two year old will begin to really enjoy the jokes that the book contains. Once they start to understand that the book is intentionally daft, they will appreciate the humour. This comedy is aided in no small part by Jeffers' fun illustration style. It is simple, but colourful and mimics the playful nature required of the story.

Out of all the early learner books that you can read Opposite does offer a little more fun and anarchy than most. This means that it is more entertaining to read for an adult, but may make it a little confusing for some children. By playing with the concept of opposites, you may be unsettling the as yet unformed ideas your child has. Before they reach for The Hueys try them on a standard opposites book, this way they can get far more out of the more developed adventure when they pick it up later.

As mentioned Oliver has other books out including the wonderful Lost and Found and other Huey outings, None The Number.

Buy What's the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy What's the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy What's the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy What's the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers at Amazon.com.


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