Fiddle Dee Dee!

by | Jan 12, 2020 | Book Review, Fiction, Picture Book

Book Details

Fiddle Dee Dee!
Dianne Hofmeyr, illus. Piet Grobler. Hereford: Otter-Barry Books, hb, 978 1 9109 5975 6, 2019, £11.99, 32pp.
Picture book, fiction, 4-7 years

Monkey makes an exciting find – a musical bow which makes magical sounds; finders keepers surely? But no, Hyena lays claim to the bow. How can the dispute be resolved?

Tortoise suggests Lion should be the one to judge. Is this the solution? It looks as though the matter has reached an impasse. Then Monkey asks for a favour. He would like to be allowed to play one last tune….

Drawing inspiration from a traditional tale told by the San Bushmen and recorded in South Africa Folk-Tales by James Honey (1910), Dianne Hofmeyr retells it with lively vigour. She brings the animal characters to life through contemporary dialogue and action carrying the reader – or listener, for this story demands to be spoken aloud – to its satisfactory and happy conclusion. Adding to the experience are the illustrations by Piet Grobler. These are not passive accompaniments but are active companions to the words, literally dancing off the pages which they fill with colour, movement and character. If we can hear Hyena’s snarling rasp through Hofmeyr’s speech, Grobler’s image of this nasty guy complete with shades and earring is the perfect match.

This is a story that goes with a swing and should make its way into every library and storytime. (A musical accompaniment would be a bonus!)

Review by FMH

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