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This book is written by Amber Stewart and tells the story of a young otter, Scramble who can't swim. While his friends enjoy the water he either pretends to swim in the shallows or walks along beside them on the riverbank. His mum would practice with him everyday but he just couldn't do it until one week when instead of trying to accomplish the whole thing in one day, he tried doing it step by step.
The text in this book starts off very big and sparse and it isn't until you get a few pages in that it suddenly becomes a lot smaller and there is more to it. It's very easy to read and doesn't have the 'all over the place' feel to the text.
The illustrations are rather sweet and have a certain 'Wind In the Willows' feel to them. The main character is very cute and endearing and as you find out more about you him, you find that you are willing him to succeed and forget that this is a children's story.
The reason I chose this story was because it was all about the 'can't do' attitude which Noah seems to have lately. He gets very cross at himself if he can't do something on his first attempt (I don't know where he gets it from!!) so I thought it would be good to read a story where the main character tries and tries again until they succeed.
The story was very good at explaining, in a child-friendly manner, that you have to keep trying but that you also don't need to do things in one big swoop; doing things little by little will get you there in the end.
I'm sad to say that Noah didn't really enjoy this story and it took some persuading for him sit through it which isn't normally the case as he loves to listen. He wasn't that interested in the story or the pictures which was a real shame.
I think although the story is good and there are some valuable lessons to be learnt, it fell short in the way it was portrayed. I think if the story was about a more familiar animal and the illustrations were a lot more vibrant then it would have worked a lot better.
I would recommend this book just because the principals were very clear and if, like me you have a child that gets frustrated at not being able to do something, then you should try it.
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