Sunday, 26 November 2017

Bonkers About Beetroot, by Cath Jones, illustrated by Chris Jevons - reviewed by Damian harvey

Published by Maverick books, Bonkers About Beetroot is a big, bold picture book written by Cath Jones and brightly illustrated by Chris Jevons.

With nobody coming to visit, Sunset Safari Park is doomed and something has to be done. Zebra is determined to save the park but ever cynical Penguin thinks he's wasting his time. 

"Nobody comes because we're boring," says Penguin. But Zebra is still determined so they all go in search of visitors.  

They don't find any visitors, but Zebra has an idea. "Beetroot!" he yells. For some inexplicable reason, Zebra thinks that people are "crazy about beetroot" and is sure that if they grow the biggest beetroot in the world, people will all come to see it. Needless to say, Penguin thinks that this idea is "bonkers" - but Zebra tries anyway.

The animals make a huge manure mountain, plant their beetroot seeds, water them and watch them grow. They soon see that one beetroot is growing bigger than the others. In fact it grows so much that hundreds of visitors come to the safari park to see it. It seems that Zebra's plan has worked but the beetroot keeps on growing and before long it takes over the whole park so that there's no room for visitors anymore. Once again, something has to be done - this time, to get rid of the giant beetroot - and Zebra knows just what to do. And once again, Penguin thinks the idea is "bonkers!" 

In Bonkers About Beetroot, Cath Jones has written a great story about the determination to succeed and achieve what you want despite other people's negative attitudes, and Chris Jevons's artwork really brings it to life. As with other picture books form Maverick, it's size and distinctive square shape make it ideal for sharing with a little one by your side, but it will also be a good one to read aloud in class as children will love it - finding lots to laugh at along the way.  


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