My enormous thanks to author Jay Vincent for sending me a copy of his children’s book The Orangutan Who Sang in return for an honest review. The illustrator for The Orangutan Who Sang is Stew Wright.
The Orangutan Who Sang is part of a series and these are the details:
It’s so hard for parents to speak to the tiny people in their life about a specific topic which may be troubling them… so this is the first book in a series designed for children (3-8) to have fun whilst subconsciously also addressing something that may be on their mind. These stories and illustrations are not only beautifully written but have a subtle moral message that will make hearts sing.
Look out for: I’m A Horse Of Course -In a world that’s grim and dark, can Poppet work out who she really is and why she’s different? Perhaps a special friend will help her on the way and she can bring colour, magic and sparkle to the world.
The Shark Who Barked – everyone knows that all sharks go “chomp” … well that is except for this special shark. He goes `woof ‘! Can he save his reef from the giant creatures who’ve come up from the deep and maybe have some giggles on the way?
The Orangutan Who Sang
Olly is a shy but funky Orangutan, who has an incredible voice and loves to sing but can’t control his nerves enough to get any words out.
After falling from his perch in his favourite tree, Olly is so embarrassed, he leaves his friends and seeks sanctuary in the jungle. But will Olly discover something on his adventure that means he’s finally able to overcome his fears and do what he was born to do… sing?
My Review of The Orangutan Who Sang
Olly has been embarrassed and now he can’t sing in front of his friends.
The Orangutan Who Sang is simply charming.
Firstly, it’s the perfect size and length of story to share with a class of young children or at bedtime, but more importantly The Orangutan Who Sang has a valuable message about self-confidence, friendship and belonging that will resonate with any child. Poor Olly represents any one of us, young or old, who has suffered shyness or embarrassment and his experience gives an ideal opportunity to talk about experiences and feelings in a safe and impartial way so that children can come to realise they are not the only ones who may be afraid, shy or unhappy. With the positive ending, The Orangutan Who Sang provides hope to children too.
I thought both the rhyme scheme and the rhythm of the narrative worked incredibly well and I really liked the onomatopoeic elements so that there are several opportunities for children to learn about language, especially as a couple of the words are more challenging so that vocabulary is extended. The manner with which children are addressed with questions throughout the story, and in the set of twelve at the end of the book, involves them directly, making The Orangutan Who Sang educational and fun, especially as numeracy is woven in too through the counting.
I thoroughly appreciated the link between humans and the animals at the end of the book because I think it affords a brilliant chance to consider the relationship between humans and the natural world in real life.
I must also say how wonderful Stew Wright’s illustrations are as they complement the story flawlessly. I think the expressions on Olly’s face would give lots of chance to talk about feelings.
The Orangutan Who Sang is a super children’s book.
About Jay Vincent
As a father trying to navigate the pitfalls of parenthood, James (Jay) Vincent wrote these books originally as some fun stories to help his daughter through her first years at school, but they soon became a passion. As a child who had his fair share of trauma at school himself, it was only when they were read aloud to a pre school group did he realise he had a natural ability to write and bring magical worlds to life.
You can follow Jay on Twitter @JKidsauthor.