Terry Perkins and his Upside Down Frown

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Books

Review

Little Terry Perkins is much like any other child, except that when he starts learning to talk, all the words come out upside down. And this makes Terry feel sad.

So Terry's parents take him to the doctor, who comes up with a solution - turn Terry on his head too. And so off the family go, leading an upside down Terry on a trolley behind them. And at face value, the situation is much improved - not only are his words suddenly the right way up so that everyone can understand them but his frown has miraculously transformed into a nice big smi­le. Everything seems so much better.

And this is where the book is rather refreshing, in that it doesn't suggest that there are instant cures for all problems. In fact, the reader is left with a niggling suspicion that the nice doctor hasn't really got to the crux of things yet at all. Surely Terry is actually experiencing some significant speech and language problems? When is someone going to start thinking about what is best for him, rather than just easier those around him? And what about the mean children at school who push Terry and his trolley down the stairs?

However, in the meantime, thankfully, Terry's situation does indeed start to improve, as the book goes on to see him discover that everyone gets their worlds muddled up sometimes. And best of all, he starts to find friends who like him for who he is - whichever way up he happens to be.

This is a funny, quirky and thought-provoking picture book, with appealing rhyming text.

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