A fun, counting story with many delightful aspects that I enjoyed. Let’s begin with the title of the book, it’s spot-on for this story. Right away, it indicates an unpredictable adventure is about to start. Auntie Betty has arrived!
Straight from her travels in Africa, Auntie Betty shows up early one quiet Sunday morning; and she’s brought a trunkful of live, interactive, and in-your-face souvenirs like leopards and wildebeests.
As you might expect, Mum and Dad aren’t thrilled by her arrival; the children, naturally, are gleeful. The moment the trunk opens, animals pour out just begging to be counted from 1-10.
I think Auntie Betty is a zany character children will find appealing. What child wouldn’t find an eccentric relation lovable, especially one that brings such out-of-the-trunk momentos? I loved it when she dragged the huge trunk through the front door.
Gonchar’s warm pictures and bold colors match the text and compliment the story nicely. Mum, cup of tea in hand, with Dad beside her on the sofa encapsulates the quiet, unremarkable Sunday morning they expected to have. Their woebegone expressions, as the tiger flies over their heads, says it all. Crazy Aunty Betty is here again, so let’s just get on with it.
Although I liked the story, there are two elements of the text that I found inaccurate and inconsistent. I’m a former Pre-K/K teacher, so when I review a book I focus on the educational value of a story.
First, two of the animals in Auntie Betty’s trunk aren’t found naturally in the Serengeti wilderness—the tiger and the cobra.
Second, the tempo of the text was inconsistent and made it cumbersome for me to read. Certain parts rhyme and flow with ease. At other times, there is no rhyme. The expectation for a consistent rhyming pattern that didn't happen left me a little dissatisfied.