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The Thing That Goes Ping! - Book Review

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by May Cross (subscribe)
I'm a writer, artist and keen photographer.
Published March 31st 2021
A picture book with zing
Far, far away in the whimsical village of Figgy-tra-ling, you can hear the faint ring of a thing that goes ping. The Thing That Goes Ping! By Mark Carthew is another beautiful picture book from Ford Street, published this year. Readers (or listeners) can join in the fun of guessing in the quest for the pinging thingy. And you'll meet some cute Aussie critters and farm animals along the way.

There are many appealing literary qualities and word-play which invite interaction. As well as being choc-full of classic rhymes, it features rhythm, repeating repetitionů repeating repetition, and a lot of alliteration and assonance. The onomatopoeic "ping" in the title heralds many more to come. Mostly, the onomatopoeia (on a mat a pea sat?) literary effect imitates the word sound to the various animals' noises. For example, moo, baa, oink and neigh. (Hee-haw, hee-haw, he always says that!) The book is playful and amusing and perfect for reading aloud and sharing. Think Dr Seuss style, but true-blue Aussie. It is suitable for three to eight year olds.

There are many things in our lives that go ping. Just a glance around my house I notice my washing machine, dryer, Robbie my robot vacuum cleaner, my fridge when I leave the door open too long, TV, stove and the ubiquitous mobile phone. The thing that goes ping will keep you in suspense and have you guessing until the end. The smart money is on a smartphone but my best guess was the microwave, which is one of the original pingers.

The Thing That Goes Ping! is illustrated by Shane McG. His eye-catching design is very contemporary with an appealing visual narrative. I can't decide if my favourite character is the grumpy koala or the pongy piggy. You'll love the book as much as the kids. (I mean that you'll love the book as much as the rugrats will; not that you'll love the book as much as you love your children. That would be silly.)

Author: Mark Carthew
Mark is an award-winning children's author, poet, playwright and musician. Where does he find the time for his day job as a primary teacher? He is also a May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust Alumni. (We all love May Gibbs' cute gumnut babies Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.) Mark's picture book The Gobbling Tree won the Speech Pathology Australia's Book of the Year award. His recent book The Dingle Dangle Jungle (what a great title) was shortlisted in the 2020 Educational Publishing Awards Australia. His other books include The Great Zoo Hullabaloo! and Marvin and Marigold: A Stormy Night.

Illustrator: Shane McG
Shane McGowan is an award-winning illustrator and designer with an extensive client list globally. His work has been awarded medals in the Illustrators Australia Awards and recognised in Europe, USA and UK. He was also selected to appear in the 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide. His books include Tigers Roar, Zelda's Big Adventure, and Train Bots.
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Why? fun picture book
When: published 2021
Where: book shops or online
Cost: RRP $24.95 hardback and $16.95 paperback
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