Monday, 20 January 2014

Mrs Twinkle Takes Simon To Yellowstone National Park

Mrs Twinkle Takes Simon To Yellowstone National Park by Annabelle Wadsworth (Little Steps Publishing)
PB RRP $15.95
ISBN – 9781921928673
Reviewed by Emma Cameron

Like the previous two stories in this series, this tale about young Simon and Mrs Twinkle begins by telling readers that Simon is sad and feels sick again. And, true to form, the reliable Mrs Twinkle taps on his bedroom window and urges him to wake up so she can take him on an adventure. This time they head for Yellowstone National Park. When they arrive, it’s Mrs Twinkle who is tired so she has a nap while Simon explores.

Simon meets a squirrel who talks. He welcomes Simon to his world, dropping a pine cone at his feet before heading up the tree. When Simon says ‘See you, mate’ the squirrel queries him about where and when he’ll see him again. Simon explains this is a farewell expression in Australia, which all the squirrels find amusing. Simon sees if Mrs Twinkle is awake now and ready to go exploring.

Together they stroll about the forest where they see deer, bison and a bear. Mrs Twinkle scares the bear away and, as he flees, she and Simon see a mother bear and two cubs also fleeing. Mrs Twinkle tells Simon they were lucky that all four bears ran away, because “at that moment, they are hungry after hibernating in caves”. Simon is tired and Mrs Twinkle says she’ll take him home.

When Mrs Twinkle drops Simon home and he thanks her she says it was her pleasure and tells him to “Trully believe you can become healthy and you will become well. You are a healthy boy, Simon.” When Mum comes in and asks how he feels, he says “I feel great, Mum. Can I go to school please?” As he jumps out of bed a pine cone falls onto his carpet.

The size and colour of the text’s font and its background varies constantly, breaking up the look of pages. Illustrations are vivid and sparkly, showing what is happening as the text tells it. As Mrs Twinkle has promised that it won’t be long till their next adventure, readers aged three to six will know there is more to come.

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