MOPOKE by Philip Bunting

Mopoke loves peace and quiet but he is about to find out that you can’t always get what you want.

If you’re after a hilarious read to enjoy with your toddler, then look no further. Mopoke is one of those rare titles that will have you and your child sharing a laugh and having fun with as few words as possible. In fact, there are only about twenty-six different words in the entire book.

Author and illustrator, Philip Bunting, has centred his picture book around the southern boobook, Australia’s smallest and most common species of owl, also known as the mopoke after it’s distinctive call.


Mopoke by Philip Bunting

We are introduced to the character on the first page:

“This is a mopoke.”

After which we are told:

“This is a highpoke.”


“This is a lowpoke.”

As you can imagine, the illustrations work perfectly alongside the text to add an element of fun. As we progress, we see the mopoke in increasingly amusing situations. My personal favourite would have to be the seemingly random appearance of a confused-looking wombat.

On his website, Bunting explains that by using as few words as possible, he intended for the reader to bring their own interpretation to the story and to be creative in their expression. He encourages the reader to “increase intonation, experiment with volume, [and to] play with pauses.” All of this variety in how we use our voices during story-telling adds to and enhances the shared book experience. It’s what makes it fun! And with the repetitive phrases and so very little text, you toddler will be “reading” the book with you in no time. So get creative and have some bookish fun!

Published in February 2017 by Scholastic, Mopoke is a must-have for every young child’s bookshelf.

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