This is definitely my favorite picture book so far in 2009!
The Terrible Plop is a clever take on the formula of Henny Penny or Chicken Licken. Ursula Dubosarsky’s official website says that the story is actually based on a myth from Tibet. I found this cute quote from Ursula in the Adelaide Advertiser…
“Plop” in Asian cultures is quite poetic – the sound of a pebble plopping in a stream, that kind of thing.”
“It’s a more elegant kind of word in the original Tibetan. Whereas when you translate it into English, it just sounds funny: How can a plop be terrible?”
The cute little rabbits are sitting by the lake eating chocolate cake when ‘Suddenly comes A terrible PLOP”.
The rabbits terrified take off, hopping so very fast and gathering an increasingly panicked group of animals along the way. All of them terrified of the ensuing terrible Plop. The audience of course can see exactly what the PLOP actually is, an apple falling from the tree into the lake.
However it is the big brown bear, sunning himself in a deck chair with a cocktail who halts the stampede, grabbing the littlest rabbit by the ear.
‘Now little rabbit,
You show me where
Is the place of the PLOP,’
Snarls the big brown bear.
‘Oh please big bear,
Don’t make me go.
I’m very afraid
Of the PLOP, you know’
So the brave little rabbit leads the bear to where it believes the PLOP to be. While the rabbit realises the mistake they have all made in being afraid, the bear hears a PLOP and runs leaving the one brave little rabbit to once again enjoy his chocolate cake.
The Terrible Plop is so much fun to read aloud and the mixed media illustrations are equally as fun. The expressions that Andrew Joyner has given the animals are priceless and I really love that bear in the deckchair with his drink complete with little cocktail umbrella.
What you can’t see in the jacket image above is actually how beautiful this production is. The spine is bound in a beautiful yellow and orange stripe and the book is a deliciously long oblong shape making the page spreads magnificent and giving absolute justice to Andrew Joyner’s illustrations.
Meanwhile the fabulous South Australian theatre company Windmill are doing The Terrible Plop on stage from the 15th to the 30th of May 2009. I subscribe to the company and when they send their booklet of upcoming plays for the year it’s like getting a present. The program is incredibly presented so I can only imagine what their productions are like and their website is also just amazing.