The Hill And The Rock by David McKee
|The Hill And The Rock by David McKee|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Jo Heffer|
|Summary: Living in a little house on the very top of a hill provides an idyllic life for Mr and Mrs Quest. Everything is just about perfect except for one thing – a huge rock blocks the view from their kitchen window. Mrs Quest finds this so annoying that she asks her husband to remove it which he does. However, neither of them expect the somewhat dramatic consequences that occur once the rock has gone!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: June 2011|
|Publisher: Andersen Press|
|External links: Author's website|
The Hill and the Rock is a very funny book that is based on one very quirky idea. Mr and Mrs Quest are an ordinary couple but their home gets many visitors as it is at the top of the only hill for miles around. Everyone admires the view, but as Mrs Quest spends much of her time in the kitchen, her view is blighted by the large rock that stands tall just outside the window. Mrs Quest is also extremely good at nagging and she pesters her husband every day until he agrees to dig the ground that surrounds the rock so that it eventually rolls down the hill. That night Mrs Quest is much happier but is puzzled by a hissing noise that stops her from sleeping. The next night they both hear it and it slowly dawns on them that now the rock is no longer in place, all the air is seeping out from inside the hill.
The hill gradually deflates and their house sinks. However, it does not stop when it reaches ground level and they eventually end up living in a deep valley with no view at all. There is a silver lining though because the rock starts rolling down the slope until it ends up in the same position that it started in. Gradually the hill fills with air and the house rises but you don't hear Mrs Quest complaining about her blocked view any more especially when Mr Quest comes up with a surprising solution.
I really enjoyed this book and so did my daughters. We all found the idea of the hill being filled with air and the rock acting as a bung highly amusing. Obviously, I know that the book was not aimed at me but it is great that, when sharing books with children, parents can have a laugh too. The story is written in quite a straightforward way and is accompanied by many humorous illustrations which tell the story in a much more visual way. Watching the hill gradually deflate and eventually turn into a valley through a series of pictures has a far greater impact than just reading about it. In fact I think that the illustrations, which are presented rather like a cartoon strip, really make this story. My daughter really enjoys them especially as she can see things changing before her eyes.
The language used is very accessible too and with not too much text on any one page, 'The Hill and the Rock' would make an ideal book for children who are just starting to read confidently by themselves, as well as for sharing with younger children. The book also seems to contain a message which is worth sharing and that is that you should always try to be content with what you have. Mrs Quest wasn't content and look what happened to her!
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Overall 'The Hill and the Rock' is a fabulous funny book which we have no hesitation in recommending. Also, if this book appeals, why not take a look at Home by Alex T Smith.
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