Partnering with Tearfund

A Cheese and Tomato Spider

By Nick Sharratt

A Cheese and Tomato Spider cover.

Story: Eleven pictures of everyday people and objects are transformed into some very unusual items thanks to each page being split in half. An exploding volcano and a grey-haired granny can become an exploding granny (or, indeed, a grey-haired volcano). Watch out for the birthday lemon, the wriggly pizza and the haunted fish!

Age: This book made my 4-year-old, 6-year-old and 8-year old all fall about laughing. Eight is probably about the upper age limit but at the lower end of the scale even very young children should appreciate it.

Length: This depends on the exact amount of laughing which takes place but there are 121 picture combinations so it can easily take fifteen minutes to get through them all - not bad for a twenty-four page book with only fifty words.

An exploding granny!

Comments: This is a simple idea which is astonishingly effective. Some of the pictures are amusing enough to make an adult smile, and kids love the absurdity of it all.

The repetitive nature and lack of story mean reading it to a small child could drive you quickly mad if they wanted it over and over again, however. Older children have a tendency to start bickering over which combination to do next. Still, there's plenty of fun to be had.

Oh, and take it home rather than reading it in the library - it'll be easier to contain your children as they roll around giggling.

Conclusion: Gets children in a wide age-range laughing together without you having to put You've Been Framed on the telly. Can't be bad...

Rating: 4/5.

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