Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Simon Meets Mrs Twinkle For the First Time

Simon Meets Mrs Twinkle For the First Time by Annabelle Wadsworth, illustrated by Annabelle Wadsworth (Little Steps Publishing)
PB RRP $15.95
ISBN 9781921928994
Reviewed by Emma Cameron

Lately, young Simon has missed school a lot due to illness. His mum says it’s ‘growing pains’. Bored, he stares out the window and spots a huge star that he decides is a friend. He asks for her name and she introduces herself as Mrs Twinkle, suggesting they ‘forget your problems’ and take a trip together. Simon climbs aboard one of her ‘twinkly starbeam arms’ and off they go.

They explore various parts of Australia, first stopping to swim in a Sydney bay where Simon meets an octopus who explains how he uses his eight legs to get about. In the bush they meet a koala who complains of humans taking poor care of his species by not looking after trees. And in the rainforest they see a huge carpet snake that is harmless ‘as long as people don’t touch them’.

Mrs Sparkle begins hugging a tree and says that trees turn dirty air into oxygen that Simon can breathe and she suggests that Simon thank them. Simon is delighted at his surrounds and runs around saying that he is a tree and can keep growing and getting stronger every day. Mrs Twinkle smiles, pleased that he’s feeling happier and then tells him it’s time to return home.

Once back in bed Simon is visited by Mum. He tells her he’s feeling much better and wants to go to school. She replies that he’s been sleeping all morning and dreaming about a special friend but that this seems to have helped and going to school half a day tomorrow should be fine. Stardust falling on Simon’s hand tells him it was no dream and he looks forward to seeing Mrs Sparkle again.

The size of the font in the text, its colour and the background it appears on varies constantly, breaking up the look of pages. An Australian map in one illustration makes for a simple introduction to our country and vivid and sparkly illustrations in bold colours show what is happening as the text tells it. These, combined with quality production, give a lovely and inviting appearance.

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