Never Ever by Jo Empson
|Never Ever by Jo Empson|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: A very simple idea for a story, easy to follow, and lots of fun!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: December 2012|
|Publisher: Child's Play (International) Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
The little girl in this story is firmly convinced of the fact that nothing ever, EVER happens to her. Nothing interesting anyway. We meet her walking through the countryside with her stuffed rabbit, moaning about the lack of excitement in her life. Yet whilst she's complaining, what's that we can see? In the field of pigs behind her there's one with wings, flying in the sky! Has she noticed? No, she hasn't! She continues to walk on, telling us how there is never, ever any excitement and of course there are more and more things happening around her that she's just not noticing. Will she ever discover that her life is perhaps one of the most exciting in the world?!
This story is very simple. Most of the text consists of the little girl saying that nothing ever, never, ever happens to her, in the way that little girls do, saying never ever, ever, ever, ever! Small children respond well to such repetition and will easily pick up on the pattern and be able to join in with some of the ever's as you read! You have to admire her persistence and she has that familiar stubborn look about her that small children seem to develop around age 3 (and sometimes younger!) when what they say is the absolute truth and don't you forget it, no matter what evidence you might present to the contrary!
So, what else is happening that our little girl doesn't see? Well, she walks over a gorilla's head, past a camouflaged lion, over some turtles in a river and straight into a dragon's mouth! Although she is momentarily silent in the dragon's tummy (brilliantly drawn with a fully dark page, the shadows of her and her rabbit and the whites of their eyes showing!) after being spat out (Yuck! says the dragon!) she still says See? Told you! Nothing exciting EVER happens to me! She ends the story climbing the trunk of a woolly mammoth and going to sleep on his head, thankful that nothing ever happens to her!
The illustrations are lots of fun - sort of messy looking, but charming with it. The final picture, of her asleep on the mammoth's head, is a very large fold out page, so you get the fun at the end of the story of revealing where she is and how huge the mammoth is! I like her poor rabbit who gets dragged around everywhere with her, going through the same exciting experiences she is with his stuffed toy blank expression!
This is a nice, quick read, perfect for pre-schoolers and would work well for sharing with groups of young children as the pictures are nice and big, taking up the double page each time. Funny and charming!
I also really enjoyed Jo Empson's first book, Rabbityness by Jo Empson which is rather different to this one but well worth a look.
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