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Tiddler - Julia Donaldson

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Author: Julia Donaldson / Format: Board book / Date of publication: 03 May 2010 / Genre: Baby Books / Subcategory: Picture & Activity Books / Category: Picture Books / Publisher: Scholastic / Title: Tiddler / ISBN 13: 9781407116631 / ISBN 10: 1407116631 / Alternative EAN: 9780439943772

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    8 Reviews
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      31.07.2013 22:29
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      Book for older pre-schoolers

      I recently added to my son's collection of Julia Donaldson books with a book bag of 10 of her books for £10 - which I thought was a bargain price to pay. We both love her books and enjoy sharing them at bed time so we were excited to read some of the new ones. One of the first selected by my son was this 'Tiddler The Story Telling Fish'. My son has a real love of fish at the moment and I think the front cover really appealed to him as it has a variety of animals in an underwater scene.

      The moral behind this book is really very similar to the infamous fable of 'the boy who cried wolf'. The main character is Tiddler who always has a story to tell - an elaborate reason as to why he is late for school. No-one believes his tales apart from one school friend, little Johnny Dory, who tells his nan. And the stories pass on from there. Then one day, he really does get lost on his way to school and all of the tales he has told previously actually happen. Luckily, he is recognised from his stories and rescued.

      For me, this is not one of my top books from Julia Donaldson. The writing is much less flowing and easy to read to other books of hers that we read. The story is also a little long winded with a lot of text per page. My son is only 2 and this struggles to keep his attention and he will often attempt to turn the page before I have finished reading. Luckily, the illustrations are lovely and colourful and, as I say, his love of fish means that he loves looking at them and talking about what he can see. I do think this is a book he will grow to love though and perhaps it is better for 4-5 year olds who will fully understand the story. The more I read it, the more I 'get' the flow of the book - which is definitely harder to pick up than that of Julia Donaldson's other books and it does become easier to read. One perhaps for a year or so when my son is a little older.

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        19.01.2013 11:14
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        The one that got away!

        Tiddler is the story of a naughty little fish who is constantly late for school.

        The book is a colourful and well illustrated hardback with 32 pages written by the well regarded Children's laureate Julia Donaldson and drawn by her long-time collaborator Axel Scheffler.

        Story:

        When the daily rollcall of students is made at fish school, all confirm their attendance except the mischievious Tiddler who regularly provides an elaborate excuse for his tardiness, explaining he has been talking to mermaids or had found treasure. Whilst the class and teacher disbelieve him he is only a little bit late so nobody takes it too seriously, until one day when Tiddler doesn't come to school at all. After a dramatic problem he finds himself lost in the wide ocean and the only way he can find his way home is by following the trail of people discussing one of his elaborate made up stories.

        Writing:

        As with all of Donaldson's books, this appeals to youngsters and readers as it rhymes and generally has a constant enjoyable flow. The use of different sea creatures is well thought out and the story has a logical and enjoyable conclusion after a decent build up. There is repetition which is good to reinforce areas of the story and the entire thing flows simply but with constant build up to the amusing finale.

        Illustration:

        Scheffler has a whale of a time (Boom Boom!) drawing the wide array of fish and ocean mammals associated with the story, each page is colourful and packed full of interesting things to look at and enjoy, it is a brilliant accompaniment to the story and the colours appeal to youngsters.

        Price:

        The book is available on Amazon for £9.32, i'd recommend buying for 62p from one of the used book sellers on Marketplace though as this book is probably worth £4-£5 at most, I can't recall what we paid for it, but I would eat my hat if we paid more than £5 around 14 months ago.

        Overall:

        Overall my child and I really enjoy this story, it's fun to read and be read to, the illustrations are grand and the story flows with humour and rhyme. My only criticism is that the wording is fairly difficult to read with a dim light due to the dark nature of the blue filled pages, but that is perhaps more a statement about the lighting in my home than the book. This isn't the best of Donaldson by any way but it is fun and still probably about 14th or 15th choice on our shelves.

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        15.04.2010 19:51
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        A great book for everyone

        Tiddler is another fantastic book by Julia Donaldson, the author of The Gruffalo.

        The story is written in the famous rhyming that is used in many other of her books which make it fun to read, entertaining and fast paced.

        The story is about a small fish, Tiddler, who is famous for telling tall tales. It's a bit like the boy who cried wolf - Tiddler tells so many stories that when he is caught in a fishing net nobody believes him.

        Tiddler tells how he rides on the back of stingray, how he found a shipwreck, got trapped inside a treasure chest, and rescued by a mermaid. The stories are passed around the ocean from fish to fish, and are Tiddler's way of finding his way home after being trapped in the fishing net. He traces his stories back to each previous fish to have heard it in order to get back to his school, his friends and his teacher, Miss Skate.

        The pictures are bright, colourful and very entertaining. They definitely help children understand the story, and teach them about the different fish in the ocean.

        My son loves this book, as well as all others written by Julia Donaldson, and it comes very highly recommended for children of all ages.

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        17.02.2010 21:42
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        an excellent story, fun to read

        A great story about a little fish who tells tales about why he is late for school everyday. Are the stories really true and does anyone believe him?

        Tiddler gets stuck in a net one day on the way to school - how will he get back?

        An excellent story, another Donaldson/Schaeffler classic. It flows beautifullly and the rhythmic nature makes it easy to read and enjoyable for both reader and listener. Beautifully illustrated with lots to talk about with your child in the pictures.

        my 2 and a half year old chooses a story to read at bedtime every night and this is one that we read at least once a week sometimes more often. he has learnt some of the key phrases and helps with the reading of the story - even pointing out to us if we get it wrong.

        A wonderful way to spend quality time with your child

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          12.01.2010 22:16

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          Wonderful!

          "Tiddler? Tiddler? TIDDLER'S LATE!". My three year old son absolutely adores this fabulous rhyming story about a little fish who is prone to letting his imagination run a little bit wild!

          The story is yet another in the wonderful series of children's books written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. It follows the tale of a little fish called Tiddler who is always late for school because he's been dawdling and making up tall tales to tell to his teacher as a reason for his tardiness. One day he gets caught out though and captured in a fishing net, but when the fishermen throw him back for being so small, he finds himself lost in the middle of the ocean. Suddenly he hears one of his stories and uses it to find his way home.

          The story is beautifully told in rhyming form and the amazing illustrations add further to the impact of the story. My son loves to join in reading this and loves the pictures of all the different underwater creatures who make up the characters. It's a must-read for any child!

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          05.10.2009 10:52
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          5 stars!

          Tiddler is the story telling fish by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, following their success of the award winning Gruffalo and Room on the Broom.

          Along with all the other stories by the pair, this book is beautifully illustrated and the rhyming feel of the story is really engaging and allows the child to follow the story easily and join in once they have been read it a few times.

          The story centres on Tiddler who 'was a fish with a big imagination. He blew small bubbles but he told tall tales.' He is always late for school and telling the teacher the reasons he is late is because he was riding on a seahorse, flying with a ray and diving with a dolphin. His friends and the teacher think he is telling tall tales, but it soon becomes clear that Tiddler leads an exciting life!

          With lovely rhyming verses it is really easy and enjoyable to read this story to little ones:

          'Sorry I'm late. I was swimming round a shipwreck.
          I swam into a treasure chest, and someone closed the lid.
          I bashed and I thrashed till a mermaid let me out again'
          'Oh, no, she didn't.' 'OH YES SHE DID!'

          The book has lovely colourful illustrations throughout of all the delights of the underwater world, and my daughter actually learnt the names of different fish from this book, so it's educational too!

          Visit www.gruffalo.com for games, digital downloads and activities and also find out more about the different stories available.

          This book has an RRP of £5.99 but can be bought much cheaper at Amazon or take advantage of the 3 for 2 offers on children's books at book shops such as WHSmiths.

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          14.04.2009 14:21
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          A classic tale sure to become a household favourite.

          "Sorry I'm late, Miss. I set off really early but on the way to school I was captured by a squid. I wriggled and I struggled till a turtle came and rescued me." "Oh, no, he didn't." "OH, YES, HE DID."

          Tiddler is a fish with a big imagination and his day dreaming makes him constantly late for school. Nobody believes Tiddler's tall tales of mermaids and squids so when he goes missing he is left to figure out his own way home. Can Tiddler use his stories to find his way?

          "Tiddler" is another brilliant story from the marvellous collaboration of writer Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler. The creators of numerous modern classics including the now legendary "Gruffalo", everything they touch seems to turn to gold and this is perhaps their best children's book yet. There is a wonderful rhythmic quality to all of Donaldson's books and this book is no exception. As you can see from the extract above the success of Donaldson's writing is in the rhyming. The repetitive nature of the couplets allow children to become engaged in the story very early on and more importantly, the books are interactive.

          This is especially true of "Tiddler" in which there is a pantomime, "Oh, no, he didn't." "OH, YES, HE DID." My daughter becomes almost euphorically hysterically at this points of the story and loves joining in. Shrieking with delight is one of the many things only a child of six and under can get away with but shriek she consistently does. Easily now her favourite book many a time I will groan as she comes downstairs in her PJ's to with it clutched to her chest for me to to read for the millionth time.

          Of course, what lifts the book even more are the superb illustrations. Each double page combines huge and colourful illustrations with short passages of writing. Schleffer is a genius in bringing these characters to life and provides vivid characters that leap out of the page. There are also some lovely moments of humour both in illustration and writing including a "Gruffalo fish" that chases Tiddler and makes my daughter howl with laughter even time she sees it.

          Moralistically some may find the concept of the book unsettling but I found it refreshing. In true "boy who cried wolf" fashion this book is helping to teach the value of telling the truth but also highlights the importance of being creative and individualistic. Some might argue that the "tall tales" idea is not something we should be teaching children as a good thing but I think the consequences of Tiddler's actions are well thought through and as with all Donaldson's books, it provides a good talking point for me and my daughter. I also know for that our children's school uses this book as a point of debate and discussion is always a good thing.

          "Tiddler" is a great book and has quickly surpassed all my daughter's other books to become her favourite. The writing and illustration is a joy and it is also very reasonably priced (use the amazon people). An essential purchase for anyone who wants to engage and entertain their child with a perfect bedtime story.

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            27.12.2007 21:16
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            A good story to share with youg children

            My daughters and I are big fans of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler so we were very pleased with this latest addition to our collection! This duo are famous for writing such titles as 'The Gruffalo', 'The Gruffalo's Child', 'The Snail and the Whale' and 'Room on the Broom' all of which are excellent story picture books for young children.

            'Tiddler - the story telling fish' is exactly that -a fish who likes to make up stories! He is quite an ordinary little fish who is always late for school - yes, fish do really attend school at the bottom of the sea! Every time he is late he comes up with a fantastic story, such as the fact he was diving with a dolphin or riding on a seahorse and that is his excuse! None of the fish actually believe him though and dismiss his tales as silly stories - except for Little Johnny Dory fish who says that he enjoys the stories and goes and tells them to his granny! Granny then passes the story on to other creatures as well!

            Anyway, this is the way the story goes on until one day Tiddler was dawdling on his way to school dreaming up his next story, and he is so distracted that he does not see the fishermen's net which he swims into. Luckily because he is only a tiddler he is thrown back but then he is lost in the middle of the deep dark ocean. (Meanwhile, Tiddler is so late for school that all the other fish are really beginning to worry about him.) Tiddler swims about lost and a little bit scared until suddenly he hears a story! It's all about Tiddler riding a seahorse and meeting a mermaid. Of course it's one of his own stories which was passed on through the ocean by Johnny Dory's granny.

            Tiddler keeps meeting different types of fish who tell him who they heard the story from and this helps him find his way back. He arrives at school just as it is finishing at 3.30 and tells the story of what happened to him and of course none of the fish believe him!

            This is a lovely well written story for young children. It is a magical tale and one which really helps them to develop their imaginations. The story is written in rhyme which is great for helping children develop their hearing skills in readiness for phonics and my daughter loves being able to supply the rhymes. The language is also really accessible to young children and there is quite a bit of repetition so once children have heard the story a few times there are bits which they can start to join in with. This is particularly true on the pages when the teacher, Miss Skate, takes the register, which with one or two small changes always goes something like this:

            'Little Johnny Dory?' 'Yes, Miss Skate.'
            'Leopardfish?' 'Yes Miss.'
            'Leaf Fish?' 'Yes Miss.'
            'Tiddler? Tiddler?'
            TIDDLER'S LATE!'

            My daughters love joining in with this bit and putting on different voices.

            Axel Scheffler is the illustrator and, as always, all his drawings are very detailed with lots to talk about. Also, because we have read lots of books with his illustrations, the style is very familiar and my daughters know the sorts of things they can look for, such as the very expressive looking fish!

            Overall this is a very enjoyable story, and it reminds me a little bit of 'The boy who cried wolf' although without the drastic consequences! There is a little message here though - if you make up stories people (or fish) won't actually believe you when you are telling the truth!

            This is definitely a great book to share with young children for the delightful story, wonderful illustrations and the enjoyable language. It receives a big thumbs up from both my daughters and myself - so if you're interested it is published by Alison Green books and our hard back version has a RRp of £10.99 although you can buy it on mazon at the moment for £6.04.

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          • Product Details

            This little fish has a very big imagination! Every day, Tiddler is late for school, and every day he has another tall take for his teacher. But did he really ride a seahorse? Did he really meet a mermaid? And who will believe him when he really does get captured in a net? Tiddler is a classic of the future, with a little hero that all children will identify with.