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John Burningham


In this book there is action, the threat of danger, angry animals and a mum punctuating either end of the tale. Burningham is an old-hand at delivering entertaining books and this is one of them.


Steven sets off to the shops, under his mother's directions with a list of groceries to buy.

As soon as the shopping list is bought, the contents appear on each page and on the journey back to his house, these contents diminish. Therein, you have maths, illustrated nicely with oranges, apples and donuts.


Admittedly, the groceries are English-skewed: in addition to regular, healthy food, Steven's list includes 'two donuts and a packet of crisps' for his tea...which threw me for six, as it was his mother's decision. The stereotyped East-Asian family running the local store also made me pause for thought. Nevertheless, the pace of the story left these thoughts lagging behind the action.


A number of raucous, bullying animals feature in the trip back from the shop. Steven outwits them all with the help of the aforementioned food. Presented in an hilarious manner, the poor social form of the animals is definitely a kid-pleaser.


Although my seven-year-old could easily read this book, I read it to him. He had declared his love for it way before the ending. He laughed and snatched it into his lap to look at by himself afterwards. So thumbs up for this one as having a very decent impact: it is a stayer for our shelf.


Where to buy: Old. Online.

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