Anderson and M. Parish (Lyrics), Matt Shanks (Illus.), Sleigh Ride, Scholastic Australia, Oct 2016, 24pp., $19.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760276928
Matt Shanks has taken another favourite song, Sleigh Ride and paired the lyrics with more of his delightful Australian-themed illustrations.
I recently reviewed his version of Row Row Row your Boat and I loved that too.
In Sleigh Ride the sleigh is a bright red trailer that’s being towed behind an ice cream van. The ice cream van has a bell on the roof- (hence the sleigh bells). There is no ice or snow in this Australian landscape- but there is ice spilling out of an esky.
On the way to the beach, the trailer-sleigh fills up with a brilliant collection of ‘friends’. There are koalas, galahs, echidnas, kangaroos, numbats, a snake and even a driver who’s a penguin.
‘Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you…’
The bonus CD featuring Human Nature and Jessica Mauboy adds another layer of fun. I can see kids delighting in the vibrant illustrations while happily singing along to the lyrics.
Matt Shanks is a very talented young Melbourne artist and creative designer. He has a five book deal with Scholastic and I look forward to seeing more of his work.
I recommend Sleigh Ride for kids aged 1-5. Traditionally this is a Christmas song, but I think this unique Australian version could be enjoyed all year round.
Reviewed by Wendy Fitzgerald