Teddy Took the Train, by Nicki Greenberg

Teddy Took the TrainDot loves Teddy, and Teddy loves Dot.
So when Teddy goes missing, she misses him a lot…

When Mum and Dot go on an outing, Dot brings teddy along for the ride. But, in the rush to get off the train, Dot loses Teddy. The kindly stationmaster assures her that the train didn’t take teddy – rather Teddy took the train, and has gone for a big adventure. Although she isn’t sure, Dot gets involved in imagining Teddy’s adventures. Finally, at bedtime, Teddy comes home, delivered by the stationmaster.

Teddy Took the Train is a delightful picture book about imagination, adventures and courage. The rhyming text is fun to read and the illustrations, using a range of media including collage, ink and acrylic are warm and both sensitive and gently humorous. The depiction of Mum in a wheelchair is a wonderful touch, with the disability not forming a part of the written narrative, and thus part of the family’s life rather than the central issue of the book.

A gorgeous offering.

Teddy Took the Train, by Nicki Greenberg
Allen & Unwin, 2015
ISBN Teddy Took the Train

Available from good bookstores and online.

A House for Donfinkle, by Choechoe Brereton & Wayne Harris

Up high in the grasslands
where Wooble Beasts roam,
Donfinkle Vonkrinkle
is building his home.

Donfinkle Vonkrinkle is happily building his perfect home, with the walls door, windows and porch all just the way he likes them. Everything is fine – until first a Flooble, then a Mooble, a Gooble and finally a Blooble all arrive to tell him what is wrong with his house. Donfinkle quickly gets to work fixing and changing his house – till he realises that his house is no longer perfect. Fortunately, his contrite friends help him to set it to rights.

A House for Donfinkle is a delightful rhyming picture book by d├ębut author Choechoe Brereton. The text has a simple message about self-belief, told in a joyful, whimsical way. The rhyming text scans beautifully, making it perfect for reading aloud and for multiple rereadings. The digital illustrations, by seasoned illustrator Wayne Harris are filled with whimsical detail and rendered in a pastel palette which serves as a wonderful complement to the gentle message of the text.

Lovely.

 

A House for Donfinkle, by Choechoe Brereton & Wayne Harris
Walker Books, 2014
ISBN 9781921720536

Available from good bookstores and online.

The Carousel, by Ursula Dubosarsky & Walter Di Qual

This a book which makes for repeated oral readings, particularly by adult readers to children, who will love the rhythm of the words and the magic of the horses – real or imagined.

One winter’s day my dad and I
Went down to see the carousel.
We stood and watched as round and round
The little horses rose and fell.

This enchanting rhyming picture book begins with the protagonsit,a young girl, watching the carousel with her father before she, too, gets to ride on one of the painted horses. On the ride she is transported, imaging herself galloping free as the wind far from the carousel. But, when the ride slows, the girl feels the horse’s sorrow that it can never be free to leap and bound, to wander in the wilds. So she makes a wish that all of the horses will be free – a wish that she believes come true, with the sound of hooves in the night and the horses running free ever after.

The Carousel is a magical tale of imagination and freedom, told in rhyming verse which scans with a rhythmic echo of the rocking of the horses as they canter free. Most spreads have just one four line stanza, allowing the illustrations to dominate the text. And what illustrations they are – mixed media renderings of the magic of the carousel, and of the horse galloping across red earth, through blue water and against purple night skies.

This a book which makes for repeated oral readings, particularly by adult readers to children, who will love the rhythm of the words and the magic of the horses – real or imagined.

The Carousel

The Carousel, by Ursula Dubosarsky & Walter Di Qual

Viking, 2011
ISBN 9780670074624

This book can be purchased in good bookstores or online from Fishpond