Friday 27 November 2015

The Decorating Disaster

The Decorating Disaster by Alison Reynolds, illustrated by Mikki Butterley (Five Mile Press) HB $14.95 ISBN 978176006 7229

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Part of a series called Pickle and Bree’s Guide to Good Deeds, this is a beautifully presented and designed – and very reasonably priced – picture book for young readers. The series is centred on two delightful but different friends, the highly spirited, opinionated girl Bree and the slow, plodding Pickles the bear. In this book, Pickle and Bree, who live together, decide to redecorate their house.

As with any home-restorations, there are disagreements. One wants wallpaper, the other paint. However, when the two decide to work separate, more problems arise. Pickle is daunted by sticky wallpaper which results in him becoming wrapped in it! Bree, whose paint is a pea-green, gets stuck on top of a ladder – and calls for her friend. However, a compromise is soon reached and the friends even clean up together when the jobs are done.

This is a book which extols the virtues of teamwork. It cleverly and subtly shows how listening to the other person’s point of view and working together to brain-storm can result in shared ideas that lead to success. It invites readers to accept that sometimes others have different ways of doing things, that there is no one way of get something done. Overall, the discovery to be made is that friends can be friends even when they are totally different.

Aimed at children aged 5 to 8 years, this well-written picture book with lively and appealing illustrations, has more text than most so it would be ideal for an adult to read and discuss the story. To sum up: Reynolds and Butterley’s book is entertaining, educational and uplifting. It’s also highly recommended.

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