Rosalind Malam (text), Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson (illus.). Rustle up a Rhythm Scholastic (NZ), 1 April 2015, $AU14.99/$NZ19.00 (pbk), 24pp., ISBN 978-1-77543-148-0
Coupled with Juliette MacIver’s Grasshoppers Dance, parents, teachers and children are encouraged to “rustle up a rhythm” to express and give joy in the mundaneness of day-to-day life. As the family gets up, has breakfast, packs up a picnic basket, walks off in the traffic to the railway station, stops off at a park, heads home for dinner and each heads off to sleep, the ordinary is brought truly alive when you rustle up a rhythm, swing your hips and bodily bounce! “Choppa-choppa, choppa-choppa! Toot! Honk! Beep! Bizzy-buzzy, bizy-buzy, cheeka, cheeka, cheek!” I wonder if this book could be a provocation for children and teacher to bring an ordinary day and an ordinary classroom alive as they collectively too “rustle up a rhythm” and write their own book! This picture book should remind teachers, overwhelmed by mundaneness of ordinary pedagogy, that life is about exciting the imagination! Recommended.
reviewed by John McKenzie