Our class were delighted to be asked to review the picture book ‘A Blooming Great Day’ by Úna Woods. What made the book so special, was the fact it’s setting is around Dublin city centre, which is exactly where our school is located!

The book is about a young girl called Rosie and her grandad who go on a great adventure all around Dublin city. Grandad’s hat takes an adventure of it’s own as it travels through various landmarks such as the National Library, Sweeny’s Chemist and Sandymount Strand. Rosie observes everyone dressed up in old costumes as they are taken back to the 16th June, 1904 to celebrate Blooms Day.

As a class, we analysed the front cover which is where we recognised the Fusiliers’ Arch at the entrance of St. Stephen’s Green which a lot of us see on our commute to school or on a trip to the playground. The girls also enjoyed the various illustrations of the elegant characters and “cute animals”. We even made some predictions of what we think the story might be about.

During the read aloud, the class were enthralled as they were taken into a new world in old Dublin’s fair city. They were able to make an abundance of connections with the book and they all learned a snippet about the author James Joyce and his most famous novel, Ulysses.

As a teacher, I would recommend the book for ages 6+ so that they could keep up with the fast pace movement of the story and to be able to understand that they are going back in time. There was a good level of vocabulary in the book and plenty of examples of rhyme on every page.

There are endless possibilities for integration with other subjects too such as Literacy, SESE and Art. I hope to get some more books by Úna Woods for the class library.

What I loved most about the book was how much the girls could really picture themselves in the idyllic scenes and locations. They let their imaginations soar. There was an automatic connection, which only enticed them into the story from the very beginning.

The book was certainly popular in the library this week as the class were eager to read it independently themselves and to take in the beautiful illustrations.

As a class, we’d rate this book 10/10.

Rhya Weafer, 1st Class Teacher, Loreto College Junior School, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin.

A Blooming Great Day” by Úna Woods, published by O’ Brien Press, is on sale now for €14.99 (H/B).

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher, O’ Brien Press, free of charge to Seomra Ranga for the purposes of this review.