Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Trip to the Moon by Ann-Marie Finn (Dragon Tales Publishing)
PB RRP $17.95

ISBN 9780992523916
Captain Kieron by Ann-Marie Finn (Dragon Tales Publishing)
PB RRP $17.99
ISBN 9780992523930
Reviewed by Yvonne Mes

Ann-Marie Finn is a talented Brisbane based illustrator and now author. The two books reviewed here  are dedicated to her children Liam and Kieron who share the same names as the characters in the books.

A Trip to the Moon is a gentle story of Liam who longs to travel to the moon and wonders what it would be like up there. His wish comes true when a rocket suddenly lands outside his house. He and his stuffed toy travel all the way to the moon only to find out the moon isn't quite what he expected it to be.  
This story will appeal to young boys and girls with a healthy dose of curiosity and a fascination for the moon, rocket ships and aliens. The illustrations are fun and lively, creating a warm atmosphere with an added visual narrative involving some cheeky aliens. I loved the use of complementary colours with vivid red-oranges and emerald greens, and there was great use of dark and light. The design added to the overall look.

In Finn’s other picture book, Captain Kieron, a little boy day-dreams on the beach. When he goes for a cooling swim in the sea he finds a submarine to take him on an exploration of the ocean. He finds ocean creatures, a sunken shipwreck and haunted pirate treasure. The dream-like quality of the story and underwater adventures make for a fun reading experience.

Again the colours are gorgeous and the illustrations fun and playful. Captain Kieron with its longer text may appeal to slightly older children then A Trip to the Moon, and will be enjoyed by all adventure-loving children.  

Both stories are told in rhyme and follow the same pattern of a little boy, (I expect inspired by two little boys close to Ann-Marie Finn's heart), who go on a dream-like fantastical adventure making the reader wonder at the end if it all really happened.

Yvonne Mes is a children's writer and illustrator. Her first picture book, Meet Sidney Nolan (Random House) is scheduled for release in October 2015.


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