Scribble Sunset, by Ann Shenfield

I’m going to follow the sun.
I’m going to keep walking
until I get to where it sets.
One thing about clouds
is that you can
breathe them.

A small girl is determined to follow the sun to discover just where it sets. Scribble Sunset meanders its way from this beginning through the nature of clouds and more, to the different ways that people see. The main character is a dreamy child, seeing faces and possibility everywhere. The one person she wishes to avoid, seemingly because of his lack of imagination, is Jones. Jones deals in facts. His mother might think ‘he is such a sweet pea’ but this small girl is unconvinced. But of course, she does encounter Jones. He joins her quest whether he is welcome or not.

Scribble Sunset is a picture story book for slightly older children. It is as much about life and philosophy as it is about the pursuit of a particular goal. There is a plot, where Jones is the antagonist, the obstacle to a small girl reaching her goal. But there is much more. There are insights into the connected/unconnected nature of daydreaming and how this can lead to unexpected discoveries. There are suggestions about letting go of expectations in order to see clearly. The illustrations are in watercolour, full of scribbles and almost abstract images. The colours are beautiful. They wander through the pages much as the character wanders through her journey. Recommended for early- to mid-primary readers, philosophers, lovers of drawing, daydreaming and watercolours.

Scribble Sunset, written and illustrated Ann Shenfield
Lothian Children’s Books 2008
ISBN: 9780734410634

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