Just Another Ordinary Day

by Rod Clement

Rod Clement's Just Another Ordinary Day

Book review by Susan Syddall

Ages 4+

A Book Turns Boring into Extraordinary!

If looking for a book with amazing illustrations, then you have to check out "Just Another Ordinary Day" by Rod Clement.

Despite the title, there's absolutely nothing ordinary about this book. It's one of those books that you just have to keep turning the pages to find out what surprising elements you're going to find next.

What I love about this book is the way Rod Clement has used the words and illustrations to play off each other. If you read the words aloud, without looking at the illustrations, the story may sound a little ho-hum. Okay ... let's be honest. It could even be classified as boring, dull or tedious.

After all, what could really be so interesting about Amanda who could only eat one boiled egg and two fingers of toast for breakfast?

However, add the illustration into the equation and the whole story is changed radically. The illustration shows Amanda sitting at the table, with her very ordinary looking parents, in front of an absolutely enormous egg. Only a hen larger than a house could have laid such an egg!

It's the interaction and twists between the words and the illustration that makes this book come alive.

I love the way the facial expressions of the characters are depicted in the illustrations. Each character seems to find it absolutely normal to have an alien as a friend, a bonnet-wearing Tyrannosaurus Rex driving a vintage car as a neighbour or a giant fly as the science teacher.

My favourite page depicts the curry Dad cooks for dinner. A fire fighter has been called in due to the flames flying off the extremely hot food. The bewildered look on his face is priceless, as is the annoyed look on Mum's face and the thoughtful gaze on Dad's.

Book review - Just Another Ordinary Day

There are heaps more surprises along the way but I can't tell you anymore or I'll spoil the story for you!

This is a great book to use in promoting language skills as it provides a wonderful basis for numerous discussions. For example, what would it be like to go to school in a castle with a draw bridge and a moat full of crocodiles?

"Just Another Ordinary Day" is definitely a book to promote imagination! Imagination is a valuable tool to foster in children. After all, when you can imagine, you can problem solve - which is another vital skill that is used throughout life!

Apart from all that, this is a book to enjoy together with your child. Clement has woven humour into every page. It's one of those books that you can read over and over.

I confess I'm a big fan of children's books that are illustrated with excellence! This is a book that definitely fits into this category. So much so, that once we'd finished reading it, I went in search of other books that Rod Clement has written.

Edward the Emu and Edwina the Emu are among some of his creations. These are fantastic books ... but that's for another review another day.

Just Another Ordinary Day was short listed by The Children's Book Council of Australia. It is well deserving of this nomination.

Read more of Susan's  reviews.

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