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Jack and the Flumflum Tree - Julia Donaldson

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Author: Julia Donaldson / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 05 July 2012 / Genre: Picture Storybooks / Publisher: Pan Macmillan / Title: Jack and the Flumflum Tree / ISBN 13: 9780330504065 / ISBN 10: 0330504065 / Alternative EAN: 9780230710238

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      23.05.2013 12:56
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      Another Donaldson hit!

      Although my daughter's bedroom is practically overflowing with Julia Donaldson books, it seems there is always room for one more...! I periodically scan online to see if any new books have come out, or if there are any I have missed, and I am amazed how many are out there. Which brings us to our newest purchase...

      'Jack and the Flumflum Tree' was published in 2011, is available in both paperback and hardback, and has 32 pages. Written by Julia Donaldson, and illustrated by sometime partner David Roberts (he also illustrated 'Tyrannosaurus Drip' and 'The Troll').

      The story, told in rhyme, begins with Jake and his granny, and the fact Jake's granny has spots; not just any old spots, but purple 'moozles', and they can only be cured by the fruit of the flumflum tree. Unfortunately that grows far away, on the island of Blowyernose....
      Jack, clearly not willing to put his faith in the British medical system, springs into action by building a boat, recruiting an apparently willing crew (red-cheeked Rose, and stubble-cheeked Stu), and armed with a patchwork sack supplied by granny (filled with the most useless items she could apparently find!) they set sail.

      As the book progresses, and the adventures ensue, it becomes apparent I did granny a disservice, as balloons are put to great use by scaring sharks, chewing gum patches leaky boards and so on. In fact, it seemed to me that Jack should have left his crew behind, for all the use they were, and just taken the sack! More adventures ensue on the island of Blowyernose, once they reach it, but grannys patchwork sack again saves the day. Jack speeds home with the flum flum...
      will he make it in time? will the moozles get granny first? you'll just have to read it!

      As you would expect, there is little not to love about the book. Nicely told, in a light breezy way, the rhyming text is perfectly structured. I even found myself getting into a good rhythm as I told it, bit of dad rap. The story itself is nice and light, no hidden morals, it just is what it is. Not forgetting, of course, that the rhyming and repetition in themselves are of great value to children building up their vocabulary skills.

      Being honest, when I first looked at the art I wasn't sure about it, a huge departure from Alex Scheffler with whom we most associate Donaldson's books. By books end, however, my fears had gone and David Roberts's quirky, simple art proves to be the perfect tone for the story it tells. The art actually looks deceptively simple, yet tells the story even without the accompanying text.

      So a great, fun book to share with your children and one I heartily recommend ...with one small proviso. My daughter now things it is hysterically funny to tell me 'don't get your knickers in a twist' when I ask her to tidy up, or wash her face...

      Jack, you have a lot to answer for!

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