Saturday 30 May 2015

Dotty and the Magpie

Dotty and the Magpie by Jackie Wells, illustrated by Dana Brown (Little Steps Publishing)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN: 9781925117295

Reviewed by Anne Hamilton

There are many, many picture books featuring a theme of self-acceptance. It’s a staple of the genre. Many (dare I suggest most?) of this select grouping also feature animals and—making a big comeback recently—rhyming verse.


To stand out in such a crowded field is a feat. But Dotty and the Magpie manages it. Perhaps it’s Dana Brown’s illustrations—certainly the spread of puppy-eyed multi-coloured Dotty with a butterfly on her nose, dreaming of kingfishers, comprehensively won me over.


I’m not enamoured of the busy cover but many of the interior illustrations simply glow. They evoke a promise of a happily-ever-after, despite Dotty’s  bout of depression over her plain black and white appearance.


Dotty’s deepest desire is to be resplendent with rainbow colours, to be as bright as an emerald hummingbird or a tangerine clownfish. But she’s just an ordinary non-colourful dog.


Then one day along comes a magpie. The magpie takes her on a journey of self-acceptance by showing her a world of beautiful, useful and even majestic things that are plain black and white.

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