Friday 23 January 2015

Annie and Simon

Annie and Simon by Catharine O’Neill (Walker Books)
PB RRP $11.95
ISBN 9780763668778
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Annie is a curious, talkative child, and Simon is her big brother (a lot older than Annie).She talks about what she wants to be when she grows up, about loons, falling stars, bee stings and standing in the rain under an umbrella - even on a sunny day. Simon is kind and patient. He accommodates her interests most of the time, but loves it when he has some quiet time.

This delightful and humorous chapter book for the 5-9 age groups touches on each of Annie’s interests. To train for her adult hairdressing life Annie practises on Hazel the dog, then Simon, then herself - with bizarre results.

In chapter two the siblings decide to go on a loon hunt in their little boat. But no tipping is the precondition Simon sets. They see turtles, a muskrat, water lilies, a heron and an old bird’s nest which Simon tries to get for Annie. Guess what happens?

Annie gets stung by a bee while out in the garden. She still believes it’s going to rain although the sun is out. She wants to use her umbrella so Simon makes sure there’s rain.

Newspaper reports predict a meteor shower. Annie wants to stay up late and see it. They pack a blanket and a drink in the thermos which Annie mixes, and go to the park late. Things don’t always turn out the way Annie wants.

Beautifully illustrated by the author in watercolour, the characters shine. The stories are full of warmth, sharing and companionship. Part of the SPARKS series of books, there are twelve other titles for new readers to enjoy.

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