Monday, 20 November 2017

Review: 'I Want To Go First!' by Richard Byrne

In my relentless pursuit of books I've recently started entering pretty much every competition I come across to win children's books. Recently, this effort did pay off when I won a signed copy of Richard Byrne's latest picture book, 'I Want To Go First!'


I've been reading Byrne's books for a while now, picking them up at the library every time I spot a new one, so it's great to finally have one to call my own. Er, the kids' own, I mean. I really love the way he plays with the book format - many readers will be familiar with his brilliant use of the gutter in 'This Book Just Ate My Dog!' This new title is no exception - it is gleefully meta, drawing attention to the fact it is a book and encouraging the readers to join in the story.

On the first page we are welcomed to the 'Front-Of-The-Book Nature Reserve' and we are then introduced to a family of elephants on their way to the 'Back-Of-The-Book Watering Hole'. Elphie, the smallest elephant, wants to lead the way but the rules dictate that the biggest elephant goes first. So he cleverly enlists the help of the reader to get him to the front of the line.


This is a fantastic story for reading aloud, and for encouraging interaction. With every page, Elphie asks the readers to squeak, growl, wobble the book and so on to distract his brothers and sisters so that he can jump the queue. I was a little worried how Ezra, my 1 year old, would understand the concept of the story, but I enlisted the help of my 5-year-old Eleanor who enthusiastically joined in with the noises and actions and he couldn't stop laughing at it! Hopefully the more familiar he gets with the story the more he'll understand it and start joining in.

Eleanor, as usual, read the book in her head first, and when I said it was more for reading aloud, said, "but it's funny in my head too!" She loved the fact that there was an elephant with her name, and that all the names began with E - she's very big on alliteration (she chose her brother's name!!). I don't often get to read aloud to her now she's so confident at reading to herself, so this was a fantastic chance to have a family read-together!

Does Elphie make it to the front of the line? I'll leave you to find out for yourself!

Linking up with #ReadWithMe hosted by Mama Mummy Mum and Kids Love To Read #kltr hosted by Laura's Lovely Blog and The Inspiration Edit.

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14 comments:

  1. I'm a huge fan of Richard Byrne, my favourite book of his is The Great Moon Confusion.

    I love the sound of I Want To Go First and want to read it now to find out if Elphie makes it to the front, thank you for not adding any spoilers :o)

    #ReadWithMe

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    1. I think that might have been the first book of his that I read, I was trying to remember the name of it the other day! I really recommend this one, it's lots of fun!

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  2. Those pages you've shown look almost like a comic book! Sounds like lots of fun can be had reading this. Thank you for sharing with #readwithme

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    1. That hadn't occurred to me but actually you're right, it is a lot like a comic book. And lots of fun!

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  3. Such an interactive book for little ones. My girl loves these books and I am one happy mumma to grow a book worm #kltr

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    1. It's so great seeing your little ones love books, isn't it? Glad your little girl is becoming a bookworm!!

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  4. Well done on winning a book. It sounds like a lovely, funny story. Love that the book was funny in her head!
    Popping over from Read With Me.

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    1. I know, I hardly ever win stuff, lucky me!! She does come out with some funny lines!

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  5. I love that - "it's funny in my head too!" What a bright little spark! Sounds like a fun story #readwithme

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    1. I know, it got me wondering what she 'hears' when she's reading!

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  6. We've been enjoying similar style interactive books here too. This one looks great and I have to agree with your daughter, I do love some nice alliteration #readwithme #kltr

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    1. Alliteration is fun, almost as good as rhymes!!

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  7. I love how the book has the kids interact. It makes for a much nicer reading experience.

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    1. Yes, I really enjoyed that aspect, so engaging for kids!

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