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Review: ‘The Big Splash!’ by AH Benjamin and John Lycett-Smith

This weekend’s book review is of The Big Splash! by AH Benjamin and John Lycett-Smith, kindly sent to us by Digital Leaf for review.


What it’s about (from the publishers):

Skunk, Beaver, Hare, Raccoon and Fox are all minding their own business when the ground goes, ‘Da-Dump! Da-Dump! Da-Dump!’

Something or someone is stampeding. But who, and why?

Featuring some of your child’s favourite animals, ‘The Big Splash’ is an exciting new picture book that encourages children to conquer their fears and really go for it!

Holly’s review:

I like this book because it wasn’t quite what I was expecting it would be. For example, I thought it would be about a frog but it wasn’t. It was about lots of different animals. I also wasn’t expecting the storyline to be so different to how I imagined it. The story also repeats a lot and I think that younger children will like it more than older children because of the repetition.

I really liked the pictures, especially the first one with the sun cast against the trees. I think having picture books is an important part of growing up, especially the pictures. Picture are often a very important part of bedtime stories. I also think being read bedtime stories is a very important part of growing up. It helps children enjoy books and calms them down at bedtime. It’s also nice to spend time with your parents, which kids love doing.

I really enjoyed this book and hope there is a sequel.

Sam’s review:

We always open the review books from Digital Leaf in excitement as a lot of thought is put into how they are sent and represented. This book was no different – inside a dark blue box and tissue paper were a pair of goggles that hinted at the action of the story (and which look quite useful for our swimming sessions at the local pool!).

The story follows the reactions of various forest animals as they go about their business and hear a sound which sends them scurrying from their homes. The refrain follows successful tried and tested techniques of engaging children through rhythm and repetition and this also helps to heighten the tension in the book – what is making that awful DA-DUMP noise? And why is it after the animals? The ending isn’t what you expect it to be, as Holly mentioned, and provides an amusing conclusion to the story. This book is really about facing your fears and discovering they are usually not as bad as you think but the moral is never high-handed. Equally the suspense is never too scary – the animals might be running away from an unseen fear but the bright colours of the illustration reassure. The pictures are lovely and unique and suit the story well.

This book deserves to become a long-running favourite with families at bedtime!

Please note that while we were sent a copy of this book to review, the views expressed here are entirely our own and we were under no obligation to review the book.



Childtastic Books started out as a collaborative blog, written by me and my young daughter Holly. Now she's nearly a teen, she's off doing exciting and new things but I am still here, reading, writing and reviewing books for children and young adults of all ages. I miss her input but I hope she will pop in from time to time to do some guest posts! A little about me - I have just finished an MA in Children's Literature from the University of Roehampton (result pending, eeek) and am a part-time primary school librarian. The other part of my time is spent writing and editing, my own work and others, and I am waiting for my first non-fiction book to be published - a teacher resources pack for Handa's Surprise. I welcome comments and love to hear from visitors to this blog. Please note though that, because of time constraints, it is rare that I can read and review books from self-published authors. I receive so many requests and feel badly about not being able to keep up with them all. Thanks for visiting! Sam

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