‘Hello, I’m Faraway. Whose turn is it to tell a story today? Will it be Louisa? Will it be Florrie? Will it be Sam? Or will it be Georgie?’
‘It might be you, Faraway.’
‘Yes it might! Please will you stay, just for five minutes more?’
Based on a TV program, five furry friends take turns to tell stories from their patchwork quilt home. It’s Faraway’s turn to tell the story and he’s telling the story of The Princess Who Could Not Choose.’ The others help by acting it out, while one friend interjects with questions for clarification. In this story, Princess Dolores the Ditherer isn’t good at making decisions. Her father sends her two footmen to choose between. Dolores can’t decide and chooses them both. Choosing both proves a solution to some of her dilemmas until she encounters a situation where only one solution is possible. At the end of the story, the friends are again on the quilt, deciding what to do next.
In the second story, Two Brave Knights, it is Florrie’s turn to tell the tale. The others don appropriate costumes as townspeople, knights and a dragon The beautiful, tune-playing, perfect-time-keeping Elindrew clock has been stolen by a dragon. The townspeople call on the brave Sir Percival and Sir Ganymede to help retrieve their town treasure. Led by the dragon’s boasting song, the intrepid knights travel into the forest to find the dragon and retrieve the town clock. When the story is finished, the patchwork quilt friends decide to act out the story again, playing different roles.
This series, based on the TV program, was developed to foster a love of storytelling in children. The story-outside-the-story demonstrates how children can create or retell stories, using teddies and the like for characters. Photo-illustrations show characters both in costume and out. The stories are newly-created fairytales and suitable for preschool-age children in both content and length. Each is gentle and imaginative, with simple images and pastel pages. These hardback titles are smaller than a picture book, larger than a chapter book and will fit well into little hands. The cover of each title includes pictures of the five friends and a patchwork image of the story within. Panels on the patchwork quilt suggest other stories and could be used to encourage children into their own favourite or new stories. Recommended for 3-5 year olds.
Five Minutes More. The Princess Who Could Not Choose, by Jan Page and Mellie Buse
ABC Books 2007
Five Minutes More. Two Brave Knights, by Jan Page and Mellie Buse
ABC Books 2007
These books can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.