Wilfred and Olbert’s Totally Wild Chase by Stephan Lomp
|Wilfred and Olbert’s Totally Wild Chase by Stephan Lomp|
|Category: Children's Non-Fiction|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A fun book for the very young that will introduce them to the idea of different biomes, and what one might find there.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: August 2017|
|Publisher: Little Tiger Press|
|External links: Author's website|
Meet Wilfred and Osbert. They're not only the kind to completely flout the rules of the natural history explorer's club they belong to, but when they both spot an undiscovered butterfly together, they are the kind to fight tooth and claw to be the first to lay claim to it alone, and devil take the other one. What they don't know is that the drama that ensues when they're tailing this particular specimen will involve no end of peril – nearly drowning, almost being eaten by a lion, crashing a hot air balloon one of them just so happened to have in his pocket… This, then, is a fun and silly biology lesson – but that's only the best kind, surely?
The paths the two men take across the large double-page spreads here are one aspect of the book, as you have to keep track of both separately at times – leading to some awkward moments when you can't really judge who's said which speech-bubble when. But the other aspect is the sheer life on the page – wherever they are they are surrounded by different animals, all with suitable labels so we know what's what. The book then doesn't go into explaining an ecological zone, or in fact anything – but it does easily allow us to clump all the hot plain animals together in one spread, all the arctic ones here, the mountainous ones there, and so on.
You also get tasks each page – there is a puzzle to do or something to find or count on every spread – and then, in suitable value-for-money fashion, you get to the end and find there is more you should have been doing – yes, I knew those random Scrabble tiles were there for a reason. This means you've got a story – all of about two hundred words in total, if you discount the disposable dialogue; the fun drama of their scrapes, which is witty and dramatic enough to certainly please the under-sevens; all the tasks to do – and lo and behold you've also ended up learning something.
The artwork also pleases, and manages to get a nice cartoonish aspect of the character of all the animals, however obscure they can be at times, what with a eucharitid wasp and a markhor (who what now?). Clearly this isn't a book that every household will need, but I can only see a positive response from school librarians, what with the rich level of engagement with the page the audience will find, and the level of basic biological learning this volume also provides.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
If it's more fun you want, Dinosaur Detective's Search-and-Find Rescue Mission by Sophie Guerrive also provides. If you just want the animals, turn to Creaturepedia by Adrienne Barman.
You can read more book reviews or buy Wilfred and Olbert’s Totally Wild Chase by Stephan Lomp at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Wilfred and Olbert’s Totally Wild Chase by Stephan Lomp at Amazon.com.
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