Book: Blown Away
Author: Rob Biddulph
Age Range: 4-8
Blown Away by Rob Biddulph is a delightful new picture book chock-full of amusing details. Penguin Blue tries to fly a kite one day, but the wind sweeps him away. Various friends try to grab hold, but they end up pulled along. Eventually, they leave Antarctica and land on a tropical island. It takes ingenuity for the travelers to find their way home.
Blown Away is a great book to read with preschoolers. There are participation opportunities, as when the text asks: "Who's good at blowing?" and the listening child has the chance to point out an elephant. There is a mention of passing "clouds one to nine", and the clouds are, in fact, numbered, giving an opportunity to stop and count. But the beauty of these opportunities for interaction is that they are fully integrated with the story.
Biddulph's rhyming text positively cries out to be read aloud. He maintains enough variation in fonts and layout to encourage the reader to vary tones, keeping things from being remotely sing-songy. He also uses a rich vocabulary. Like this:
"Intrepid travelers, never fear, 'cause Blue has had a good idea.
a vine, and then...
The wind will blow us home again.""
There are also tons of over-the-top, entertaining details in Biddulph's digitally created illustrations, like a whale used as a school bus, and an ice cream truck sitting, unremarked, on the tropical island. The animals aren't quite realistic looking, but they all have personality. This is a book that will reward repeat readings, for sure.
Blown Away is everything my family looks for in a picture book: read-aloud-friendly, participation-encouraging, entertaining, and visually pleasing. Highly recommended!
Publisher: HarperCollins (@HarperChildrens)
Publication Date: January 20, 2015
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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