Friday, 13 February 2015



Written by Suzi Moore and Illustrated by Russell Ayto  
Published by Templar Publishing

WHOOPS! is a truly refreshing picture book. It wasn't at all what I was expecting as the cover doesn't give a lot away, and that's a good thing! 

The story centres around a cat, dog and a mouse who all have a common problem. The cat didn't know how to MEOW. The dog couldn't woof. And the mouse couldn't speak so she couldn't say SQUEAK. So a wise old owl tells them to visit an old lady who lives in the woods in a tumbledown house. Hopefully she should be able to put things right. Of course things aren't as simple as that and reuniting the cat, dog and mouse with their voices has a few hiccups... But the witch is adamant to help these poor creatures out and keeps trying until she gets it right - or does she? You'll just have to read it to see if her spell works!

Suzi Moore writes the story, and it doesn't disappoint. I love the witch who's more of a lovely old granny as opposed to the usual wicked old witch.  Her rhyming is spot on and makes the story flow along joyfully.

The illustrations are wickedly rendered by Roald Dahl Funny Prize winner, Russell Ayto. Russell's illustrations are minimalistic (with the main characters usually sitting in spacious surroundings) with an emphasis on colour, with the spread pages different colours every time the witch casts a new spell (and the colour highlighting the more it’s gone wrong!). 

I really enjoyed this read, as will any fans of rhyming picture books who like a giggle. So 5 huge magical stars from me. I hope I see Suzi and Russell team up again as it would be a huge Whoops! if they didn't. WHOOPS! is out in all good bookshops now and available from Templar Publishing.

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