Tuesday 16 December 2014

Calpepper’s Place

Calpepper’s Place by Trudie Trewin, illustrated by Donna Gynell (Windy Hollow Books)
HB RRP $25.95
ISBN: 9781922081322
Reviewed by Anne Hamilton

In this picture book for young readers, Calpepper is a young camel with dreams of finding the perfect ‘camely’ sort of place. ‘Not desert with its hot, hot sand. Not snowfields with their cold, cold slopes. Not cities with their crowded concrete. Not surf with its wild, wild wipe–outs.’

Luminous watercolours uplift this simple story and portray the scrawny camel train with charm and vibrancy. The theme combines the proverbs ‘the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’ and ‘there’s no place like home’.  In fact, various motifs about the ‘grass is always greener’ are reproduced in the subtle endpapers. The combination has been done before but this is a fresh and delightful version of an old favourite.

I have just one question: who is THAT mouse? Unnamed and unobtrusive, he’s present in every scene. Is he Calpepper’s friend? Or just a random hitch–hiker who decides to tag along for the adventure? Inquiring minds want to know!


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