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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Rattle and Rap

Author and illustrator: Susan Stegall

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Limited, 2008

This is one of my favourite books for the 2-4 year old category, but as 1 year George proved tonight, can be enjoyed by younger ones too. Essentially this is a poem using onomatopoeia to describe a train journey to the seaside. Once read a few times, children easily join in and get a feel for the words sounding like the experience: 'rattle and rap,  clickety clack'. The beautiful vibrant illustrations in this book are copies of collages using various layers of textured paper. Given this, Steggall's attention to detail is incredible, collage tractors, cows and ploughed fields ( just some examples) with such depth due to the texture and grain of 

the paper ripped, cut, scored. In the past I've used this book to prompt the children in creating their own train journey collages. The simplicity and repetition of the story is very comforting and I never tire of reading this book. Tonight five year old Bert fixed on the reoccurring train passengers, where is the businessman with beard sitting now? Where is the guy with the surfboard? There's the family at the start meeting grandma on the platform. There's also a nice cross reference to another Steggall book, On the Road, with the same children in the red mini reappearing and the same pedestrians pushing buggies and walking dogs. 
We were bought this book as a gift years ago, and I honestly think  it's one of the best presents we've ever received. It's a perfect book for toddlers, and continues to be a favourite through to rising five. One to treasure, a favourite and highly recommended. 

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