Oh how I love this.
It has a great opening. Bert is perched on a branch and the opening text is:
This is Bert. It’s his big day.
We watch Bert as he prepares himself. I read the text in a clipped English accent as if I was a sports commentator from the 50’s.
Bert is well prepared, mentally and physically…
Aha! Bert’s taking a running start.
No, he’s not (Bert is eating a banana on this page).
The sparse text allows for great comic timing. As the tension built, the kids leaned further towards the book, willing Bert to do it!
But to do what?
Obviously, we assumed that this was Bert’s big day for flying. He finally takes a running jump and then it seems to go wrong…he covers his eyes , calls out for help and then ends up in water – SPLASH!
Oh, you think. That’s not what should have happened. You nearly don’t turn the page, not wanting to see what has happened.
But it’s ok! He did mean to jump into the water. His bird friends are there, very impressed. Then they all fly up to the branch and jump in again.
When Bert says he’ll do something, he does it. That’s our Bert.
Bert is a fantastic character and this book shows you that, if a character is big enough, you don’t have to have many words or over complicated pictures to get that across.
This is funny, it is fun to read, the characterisation is great and there is an unexpected outcome. A really fabulous book.