Tuesday 25 June 2013


TO GET TO ME by Eleanor Kerr, illustrated by Judith Rossell (Random House Australia Children’s)
HB RRP $19.95
ISBN 9781742758831
Also available as an ebook
ISBN 9781742758855
Reviewed by Marian McGuinness

Peter and Ahmed are best friends. Peter wants Ahmed to join him at Taronga Zoo, but there’s one problem. Ahmed lives far, far away, in Africa.

This beautifully crafted picture book for toddlers and early readers is a joyous journey. It’s a child’s version of planes, trains and automobiles (plus a camel, a ferry and a chairlift), as Peter works out all the different forms of transport Ahmed must use to meet him.

As Ahmed leaves his home in what appears to be Morocco, Kerr juxtaposes the various transports with clever word play, using onomatopoeia, alliteration, repetition and rhythm that new readers will be able to enjoy and repeat.

TO GET TO ME a tale of long distance friendship, adventure and culture.

There are landscapes for Ahmed to manoeuvre, such as deserts, sand dunes and mountains, and cityscapes to discover, with airports, train stations and ferry terminals until finally he rises, up … up … up … in the chairlift at the zoo to be reunited with Peter who is surrounded by a colourful array of animals.

Rossell’s illustrations are in the brightest of colours and reflect the two vivid settings of the Moroccan desertscape and Sydney’s urban landscape. There are iconic pictures of each other’s countries on the boys’ walls and young children will have fun identifying all the exotic animals. The two boys have so much in common but are kind of mirror images of each other. One has gum trees out his window; the other has palm trees. Rossell is a veteran illustrator, having more than 80 books to her name. As well as being informative, her illustrations are a lot of fun. Readers and listeners will delight in examining all the forms of transport.

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