I think Angie Morgan may well have been spying on Matilda and Henry when she was writing this book, the characters are scarily similar. Right now my 2 little monsters are your stereotypical boy and girl. Matilda is clever (to the point of being manipulative), loves pretty things, carries her bunny everywhere and quietly goes about her business. In fact she is also just like Road Dahl’s Matilda! Henry on the other hand is a noisy boy, who is always climbing things and then falling off them, he’s easy going and loves playing with cars.
If you sit trying to do a jigsaw with Matilda you can guarantee Henry will appear and crash right through the middle. Interestingly one of the few times he will sit still and mostly quiet is when reading a book. Which brings us nicely onto this one. Arthur, as the title suggests, is a little on the loud side and much to his sister Edith’s frustration never stops shouting.
Edith tries to teach Arthur about wildlife but everywhere they go he scares them away ‘COME OUT YOU OLD RABBITS’ he shouts, ‘COME OUT YOU OLD SQUIRRELS’. Then he gets tired and falls asleep and all the animal re-appear until Arthur wakes up and starts shouting again. He then utters the classic line which I have no doubt I must have uttered when my parents took me around many Scottish forests ‘wildlife is a bit boring, isn’t it?’. Oblivious to the reason why he’s missed out on seeing all the wildlife in Edith’s book.
The illustrations in this book are great, a little cartoonish and not trying to be perfect life drawings of the animals. I also like that the colours are not bright and in your face as seems to be the case for many children’s books. More subtle and in keeping with the natural landscape the children are exploring.
Matilda loves this book and looking at all the different animals, I’m not sure if she’s quite twigged that it’s like her and Henry though. Plus it means we can talk about what noises the animals make and where they live, I like being able to connect those things and then point them out when we see them in the wild.
Finally like all good books there is something to spot on each page, in this case it’s a lady bird hiding somewhere. The lady of the manor and I most definitely didn’t have a competition when the book arrived to see who could spot the ladybird first on each page, because that would be childish wouldn’t it?
Disclosure – we were sent this book free of charge, but all views are our own. Shouty Arthur was published on 6th March by Egmont.