Then, Tessa noticed something.
It was a red thing. It was a sparkly thing.
It was a tiny, tiny thing.
Tessa and Zachary have a shiny machine that is swift and splendiferous and takes them where they need to go in comfort. They can turn on the cooler when it is hot, and the heater when it is cold. And they travel quickly. But when the machine breaks down, Tess and Zachary are forced to walk – all the way to school. It is hot and uncomfortable and such a very long way. They hate tit – until Tess notices a tiny thing she has never noticed before. Then Zachary, too, spots a tiny thing, and before long they have noticed ten tiny things. When the machine is fixed, Tess and Zachary aren’t so sure they want to ride in it any more. There are too many secret somethings and hidden happenings for them to find if they walk.
Ten Tiny Things is far from a tiny thing. It is filled with beautiful things for young readers to discover and a poignant reminder of the wonder of the world (and the value of walking!). Author Meg McKinlay’s text is delightful to read alone or out loud, filled with poetic alliteration and repetition and words which young minds will love, like ‘splendiferous’. The illustrations are a quirky result of acrylic paint and stain on wood blocks, with the result earthy tones of browns, greens and blues. The use of geometrics adds a whimsy to the visuals which young artists will be challenged to try to replicate.
This is a beautiful picture book offering for the young and the young at heart.
Ten Tiny Things, by Meg McKinlay & Kyle Hughes-Odgers
Fremantle Press, 2012
This book is available in good bookstores and online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.