|Copyright and title page|
It is only on the next opening that we are officially introduced to Enzo, "a lazy, grumbling fellow".
The intrigue begins when we are told, and shown, that the professor is going out and leaving Enzo in charge. She reminds him to turn off the Titanium Blender before he leaves. Enzo sits at the professor's desk with his feet up, eating her peppermints. The visuals accompany the verbal text, using multiple panels, some framed, others that bleed to the very edges of the pages and others that sit as cameos under the verbal text.
What does Enzo suddenly notice? A TOP SECRET Cabinet (TOP SECRET is always written in bold capitals). He finds the keys and the combinations and he opens the safe. Inside there is "a colourful row of bottles filled with mysterious potions".
First he picked up "HAIR TODAY", you can imagine what this says it does! Not just thick hair, but red and curly. Enzo decides not to try it out as it might be poisonous, but then he has a "wicked idea ..." The suspension points make us turn the page very quickly!
As in any good story the same thing happens three times, The next bottle reads, "SWEET SONG", he tries it on Chip and ...
Proffessor Puffendorf returns at this point, of course! She sees the TOP SECRET cabinet open and realises immediately what has happened. "You're a very silly man" she sighs at Enzo. But before salvaging the mess she invites Chip for tea and unburnable toast and a game of draughts! As Chip leaves the lab, he turns off the Titanium Blender.
This is a slightly longer picturebook, with 16 openings instead of 12. Each spread is filled to the brim with things to read and look at and the humour is perfect for older primary kids. Yes there is some challenging language in there, but the repetitive sequence of events will help prediction and the illustrations will help too. There's room for discussion about jobs we associate with women and loads of fun creating wild inventions along with instructions, and thinking about what we could wish for if we drank "BEST WISH"... I've no idea what Jane Cadwallader suggests you do with this picturebook, but you can buy her adapted version and activity book here.
Thanks to OUP for sending me this picturebook, I'd never have bought it for myself and it's been such fun discovering.