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Lively Elizabeth by Mara Bergman (Illustrated by Cassia Thomas)
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
This book is subtitled "A tale of what happens if you push and shove." It is about a very lively and boisterous girl who gets carried away and pushes someone, leading to a domino effect of all the children in the classroom. This teaches her about the consequences of what can happen when you push and shove others, and she soon says sorry and they all go and play nicely outside.
The book is written in a rhyming style which makes it very suitable for reading aloud to young children, and the illustrations are great with lots of detail to look out. It has quite a quirky style and is a really nice way of getting the message across about behavior like pushing.
I read it first with my eldest son when he was 2 and a half years old and he really really enjoyed it, I have several times been asked to repeat it about 5 times in one sitting. I felt that he connected with the character Elizabeth as he is a lively one himself, so the story was something very relevant to him and engaged him. I expect many children of the same age would connect to it to as pushing and shoving can be typical in their age group so they would have come across it. He absorbed the message from it and told me that its a book about saying sorry, so I think it would be a useful book to keep reading for children of this age to keep reminding them of the message. He still enjoys this book now that he is coming up to 4 years, so it has lasted well.
When I first saw the title I wasn't sure whether it was mainly a book aimed at girls, but I would say that's not the case at all and it could have a universal appeal to small children so I am glad we gave it a chance. I also enjoyed it myself, as I found it more amusing than some of the other books my son asks to read, and I really liked the style of the illustrations.
I also like that they show diversity among the nursery children featured, with different cultures names chosen and different backgrounds of children in the illustrations, which makes it more realistic than if everyone is portrayed the same which can get a bit bland.
Some parts of the text are in bigger letters to indicate characters shouting, or loud noises, which I found helps to add a bit of drama and suspense to the story when reading it aloud for the child.
Overall we really liked it. A bit different than every other book out there, and has an important message for preschool children, given in a fun way.
This review is adapted from my review on theschoolrun forum under the user name ummziyad