If your preschooler isn’t mad about minibeasts, this riotous, rhyming introduction could soon change all that…
Having teamed up previously for Rumble In The Jungle and Commotion In The Ocean, this pairing of author/illustrator Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz zooms right in on the bright and busy world at the bottom the garden.
Wriggling, scuttling, slithering – the eclectic group of creatures collectively known as minibeasts will literally stop young children in their tracks for a closer look. Moving beyond the spider’s web opening spread, we’re greeted with a bevy of smiling faces (and intriguing bottoms!) that peek out from behind green leaves, colourful flowers and grass stems. The rhyming verse that accompanies these creatures declares, “The sun is in the sky, And it’s a lovely Summer’s Day. The minibeasts have seen you, And they want to come and play!”
Each cheerful little character has their own page and introduces itself with a tripping little rhyme – either in ballad verse form or a limerick-like quintain. There’s the snail slithering slowly with his house upon his back, the earwig who likes to feed on tasty plants and rotten trees, the stick insect with his brilliant hiding trick.
Many of this friendly assemblage offer a challenge to their reader from the ladybird who asks the reader to help count her spots to the worms invitation to try some of the ‘marvellous mud’ he loves to munch
When it comes to colour, there’s no holding back for David Wojtowycz. Every inch of each spread is flooded with the colours of the rainbow. There are no white spaces here, unless you count the fluffy clouds in the sky, or the petals on the daisies. For young children, who revel in bright colours and bold contrasts, this book is truly a feast for the senses.
And while many picturebooks feature animals your child is only likely to see in the zoo or on safari, the stars of this book have the advantage of belonging to a world that is often, quite literally, at your child’s own feet. It will have children wanting to go down to the bottom of the garden (or park), stoop down, and gaze in wonder at whatever miniature marvels they can spot lurking there.
Author Notes Giles Andreae is the author of many modern picturebook favourites, including Giraffes Can’t Dance, Pants, Dinosaurs Galore, The World Of Happy series and the Captain Flinn books. Under the aliases Purple Ronnie and Edward Monkton, he has created numerous greetings card poems.
Illustrator Profile David Wojtowycz studied fine art at Goldsmiths College. As well as many successful projects with Giles Andreae, including The Lion Who Wanted To Love, which won the pair a Children’s Book Award in 1998, he is also renowned for his quirky Elephant Joe books.