Sometimes it’s all about the pictures – but in this book, bright and appealing though Ben Mantle’s illustrations undoubtedly are, it’s Steve Webb’s words that really leap off the page and will have children demanding endless re-reads. Powerfully chugging along and driven by the rhythm of many engines, the story of how a quarry lorry gets stuck in the mud and its eventual rescue after the intervention of multiple vehicles is told with densely packed rhetorical devices, including alliteration, internal rhyme and onomatopoeia – and needs to be read with pace, energy and enthusiasm. You’ll have to be pretty alert to get your tongue around it all without any tangles (and may even need a practice run or two before you perform in front of an audience) but it’s absolutely worth the effort.
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