Bang by Leo Timmers
|Bang by Leo Timmers|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Margaret Young|
|Summary: A brilliant story told with only two words.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 48||Date: May 2013|
|Publisher: Gecko Press|
|External links: Author's website|
It all starts with a deer in a bright yellow car. He has a stack of books tied to the back of his car, but couldn't resist reading one while he drives. It might have been OK if a bin had not fallen from the lorry in front of him, but engrossed in his book he never notices until with a very loud bang he comes crashing to a stop. This sets off a chain reaction resulting in a ten-car pile-up as every car but one comes crashing into the car in front of it. The quick thinking of Mr Gecko means he is able to stop just in time with a screech of the brakes, but Mr Penguin in the ice cream van is not so lucky, crashing into the gecko and his truckload of multi-coloured paint and forcing the Gecko forward to smash into the last car in the pile-up.
This is a very funny series of accidents. No one is hurt. Two cats even find romance but the contents of all the vehicles are all muddled up resulting in chickens reading books, giraffe having a stack of rainbow coloured tires around his neck, alligator eating coloured fish and everyone having ice cream. The fold-out pages near the end really add to the story enabling children to see the whole row of cars all at once. This is also fun for practicing counting, and there are all sorts of things to count - there are six little rabbits, eight tires, ten vehicles, sixteen chickens and many more pictures to find and count on the pull out pages alone.
There has been considerable debate as the benefit of children reading books without words. This isn't quite a wordless story there are two words: Bang and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. The magic of this book is the way the illustrations tell the story all on their own. True, your child will not learn a lot of new words from this book, but they very well may learn to recognise the word bang even if they are nowhere near reading readiness yet. The wonderful thing about this book is that it allows a child to read and enjoy the story well before they are old enough to really read on their own. It makes books something fun, something the child wants to explore and take pleasure from. Of course, I'm not saying to hand this book to the child and walk away. It is a wonderful book for sharing as well and one even the youngest child can enjoy. It is a brilliant book to encourage discussion and imagination. It can be great fun to add your own dialogue for the characters. This is a book that is perfect for sharing, or for reading alone. It would be ideal for a child to look through before bed after a parent has finished reading as well.
With this book being nearly wordless, it is the quality of the illustration that will make or break the book. In this case, it definitely makes it. The pictures are very bright and colourful with plenty of expressions. Each picture is more comical than the last and the pictures completely draw the reader into the events. My children are ages four and eight. Both loved this book. I could see this appealing to much younger children as well, and would recommend this for children even younger than age one. The boys happily shouted out Bang with each crash. Their absolute favourite was when Gecko managed to stop just in time, only to be rear-ended by penguin. My four-year-old is well pleased to be able to read this to me as well. It gives him such a boost of confidence with books. This is another book I can't wait to recommend to friends, and another author I will be buying more books from next week.
If this book appeals then we can also recommend two other books by Leo Timmers:
You might also enjoy Wolf and Dog by Sylvia Vanden Heede and Marije Tolman.
Bang by Leo Timmers is in the Top Ten Picture Books of 2013.
You can read more book reviews or buy Bang by Leo Timmers at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Bang by Leo Timmers at Amazon.com.
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