Good morning, Alfie. It’s time to get dressed.
The sun is shining and we have a busy day.
Alfie’s not here.
Oh, that’s a pity, I thought Alfie might like to come to the park with me. Bert will be there.
Alfie is a young anthropomorphised crocodile. Mum says they are going to the park and that Alfie needs to get ready. Alfie finds all manner of distractions get in the way. First there’s breakfast, then the process of getting dressed. Mum offers to help but Alfie wants to do things Alfie’s way. Illustrations are a mix of pattern and collage and more. Mum is relentlessly patient and encouraging, but time is running short. Eventually, Mum and Alfie reach the park, ready to play.
Hurry Up Alfie is a delightful observation of a day in the life of a small child. Alfie is easily distracted but simultaneously easily entertained. Meanwhile, the reader can see both familiar and different elements in this particular home and its routines. There are plenty of details to pick out and they will enjoy watching Steve McQueen the cat as he joins in or stays safe from Alfie’s antics. Parents will recognise the challenges, and the futility of trying to hurry an imaginative and self-entertaining child. Recommended for pre-schoolers.
Hurry Up Alfie, Anna Walker Scholastic Press 2014 ISBN: 9781742839912
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller