While the catchy title of The Terrible Plop alludes to some sort of toilet humour — which will no doubt be intriguing to kids — the story is actually a lighthearted update of the classic tale of Chicken Licken (also known as Henny Penny or Chicken Little). Instead of an acorn falling on the chicken’s head, which leads it to believe that “The sky is falling!”, here, the mysterious “terrible plop” heard by six scaredy rabbits is the cause of the mass hysteria that ensues.
This book was a huge hit with my 3.5-year-old, who enjoyed the funny story and expressive illustrations. It also helps that the excellent rhyming prose is great fun to read aloud — kids are likely to chime in with ‘plop!’ at the appropriate parts of the story, if you allow them to!
As with Chicken Licken, right from the beginning, the reader already knows that the cause of the commotion — the plop, in this case — is actually completely benign and not remotely “terrible”, which makes the over-the-top reaction of the animals seem rather ridiculous. But that’s the whole point, to show kids that it’s better to find out the facts for themselves instead of believing everything that they hear!