Animal Magic by Phil Allcock and Gina Maldonado

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Animal Magic by Phil Allcock and Gina Maldonado

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Category: Children's Rhymes and Verse
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Join a magical creature on an adventure that just happened to rhyme in this brilliant board book for your older baby/younger toddler.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 16 Date: July 2016
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1848862326

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Having read many children's books in recent years I have come to know the concept of nonsense rhymes. I don't mean silly adventures that happen to be written in rhyming couplets; I mean bad rhymes. The best books for sharing should have fluidity to them, the story simply rolls off the tongue as you turn the pages. Too many times I have read a book in which the rhymes just don't scan and you end up tripping over your words. So as this book is part of the Nonsense Animal Rhymes series, does the nonsense come from the story being daft, or because the rhymes are nonsensical?

When watching an animal bound by, the writer could not believe his eyes when it changed into another creature. Time after time the animal morphed and did you know, each time the story rhymed!

There is no real story to Animal Magic as it is just a series of little two-sentence rhymes as the magical creature turns from one animal to the next. They may be a dog one minute, but then a slug, or even a hen. You could argue that with no narrative Allcock's job is pretty redundant, but that is not the case as he does the most important thing when writing a nonsense rhyme – he makes sure it makes sense. The story may be gibberish, but the ditty itself is fantastic, they read brilliantly and there is immense enjoyment guessing which animal with be over the page.

Maldonado also does a great job in her illustrations. The book is aimed at the baby/young toddler market so the clean and colourful illustrations work really well. The book also feels like a journey as the background changes as the magical creature goes about its business. A final element that makes this book highly suitable for a young child is the format. Board books are not always necessary or utilised well; I have read a few which are essentially long-form books squashed down. This book is ideal for the hard cardboard pages and smaller look and feel. The simple and fun story, match the bright images and draw a baby in. The child wants to help you turn the pages and this is doable as the book is perfectly formed and durable.

Animal Magic has become a firm favourite in my house and is an ideal quick book for a family with an older baby/young toddler who is starting to want to grab the book for themselves and get involved. The well-written rhymes and fun imagery means that it is a book you can read repeatedly without it growing tiresome.

There are other books available from the same author; Cantankerous King Colin by Phil Allcock and Steve Stone and also other rhyming books too; Michael Rosen's Big Book of Bad Things by Michael Rosen. We also enjoyed Clumpety Bump by Phil Allcock and Richard Watson.

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Buy Animal Magic by Phil Allcock and Gina Maldonado at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Animal Magic by Phil Allcock and Gina Maldonado at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Animal Magic by Phil Allcock and Gina Maldonado at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Animal Magic by Phil Allcock and Gina Maldonado at


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