Flossy the Possum was running alone,
Scurrying, flurrying, hurrying home.
On over rock, past eucalypt tree,
Flossy the Possum was quick as can be!
When all of a sudden …
Flossy the Possum is in a big hurry to get home and she’s a tad skittish. She spies a big wrinkly claw and skitters on. Then a tall pair of fluff-covered ears. Each encounter has her skittering and flittering on until she reaches the safety of her home. When she arrives though, the biggest surprise is waiting there for her. Possum’s Big Surprise is told in rhyme with ‘When all of a sudden … ‘ set on the right hand side of openings cueing the next stage in her adventure. Illustrations are soft watercolour and reveal the animals that Flossy is spooked by.
Colin Buchanan’s experience as a songwriter is evident in Possum’s Big Surprise. The language trips and flows effortlessly across the pages, escalating the tension until Flossy is safely home. Nina Rycroft’s gentle colours and soft outlines dance across each spread. Together they have created a beautiful picture book for the very young. It introduces the Australian landscape and some of our iconic animals, in a lyrical story about things that twitch in the day. Possum, usually a night dweller, is startled by some of the creatures she encounters, providing an explanation for her skittishness. Young children love a surprise, and Possum’s Big Surprise delivers this deliciously! Recommended for pre- and early-schoolers.
Possum’s Big Surprise, Colin Buchanan, ill Nina Rycroft Scholastic Australia 2014 ISBN: 9781742839271
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller