Byrne, Richard: I Want to Go First!
I Want to Go First!
Oxford, 2017, pp32, 11.99 [pounds sterling]
978 0 19 274973 4
A very slight story but with a big dilemma at the heart of it. Elphie is the fifth and last child in the elephant troop so always has to go at the end of the line. Needless to say, he is fed up with this injustice and thinks up ingenious ways to moving himself up the queue for the watering hole ... with the help of his readers. First they have to shout at the count of 1 2 3, then make a hissing sound like a snake, then wobble the book, then squeak then growl then roar, and finally another loud squeak like a mouse and hey presto! the problem is solved. There is a lot to talk about--the various coloured outfits of the family of elephants, their swimming aids, the toys they take to the watering hole--and, of course, counting as Elphie moves up the line following his every subterfuge. A nice touch at the end brings a new rule that instead of the eldest the cleverest should go first. As there is such a lot of audience participation, this book lends itself ideally to a one-to-one situation with a parent or Nursery teacher but as most of the responses are oral it would also work as a read-aloud book with a Nursery class.