Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Elizabeth Rose on Parade

Elizabeth Rose on Parade by Jaquelyn Muller, illustrated by Kathryn Zammit (Jaquelyn Muller Books)
HB RRP $24.95
ISBN 9780646921266
Reviewed by Liz Ledden

A follow-up to Muller’s first picture book I Love You 5 Lollipops, which was released in 2013, Elizabeth Rose on Parade features a short but sweet rhyming narrative. Readers are introduced to a cast of circus performers, from a posing strongman to an elaborate showgirl, yet none ‘delight or enchant like Elizabeth Rose’. The joyous and carefree protagonist parades, juggles and cartwheels through the pages, and appears happy and content with who she is.

The story is more character than plot heavy, taking the reader on a simple journey through a cast of performers in a travelling circus. The action of the circus parade is effectively conveyed through the imagery, until the delightful conclusion featuring Elizabeth Rose sprawled on a heart-shaped patch of grass.

Zammit’s beautiful illustrations strengthen the story with their nostalgic, vintage style. The charming, candy colours echo the sweet nature of the narrative, and will likely captivate preschool-aged readers. The pastel-striped endpapers featuring whimsical circus props add to the visual feast. Astute readers can also try and spot the recurring lollipop motifs hidden in each spread.

The book is ultimately a celebration of individuality and the carefree magic of childhood. Despite all the pomp and flair of the circus performers, Elizabeth Rose stands out just for being herself.

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