Saturday 17 November 2012


Peggy by Anna Walker (Scholastic Press)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 978-1-74283-270-8
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Peggy is a contented chicken who gets blown out of her comfort zone. One blustery day, the wind picks her up and deposits her on a bustling city street. She uses her ingenuity to find her way home, finding new friends and perspectives on her journey.

I loved this book. I loved the story, I loved the pictures and I loved Peggy.

Anna Walker, writer and illustrator, has melded the text and illustrations beautifully; one would not work as perfectly without the other. Young children will be taking in the pictures long after each page is read to them. Some pages have many pictures while some have one or two. A gorgeous illustration of Peggy walking on a crowded city footpath, surrounded by people and umbrellas needs no words at all and takes up the double spread of the open book. Here, the few red umbrellas lift the scene from one of a dull day to one that sparkles.

Walker’s use of colour helps to convey an impression of calm. For such a busy, blustery book, the energy of the story is gentle, slow and unruffled. The pen and wash create soft colours, enhancing the serene, considered way Peggy approaches her situation and adds to the surprising quietness of the story.

Peggy is humorous, intelligent and fun. The short, beautifully formed sentences are a joy to read aloud and there is so much to be explored in the pictures. I think this will become a much loved favourite. Peggy is a chook with character.

The twist at the end is a wonderful surprise and I closed the book with satisfaction and a smile, before opening it straight away to start again. This picture book will appeal to the very young, but also to their older sibling, parents and grandparents.


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