Arthur and the Curiosity by Lucinda Gifford (The Five Mile Press)
HB RRP $19.95
Reviewed by Jacque Duffy
Run your hand across the cover of this book and the three raised Egyptian sarcophagus illustrations will transport you to the Museum setting of the story.
Children and adults alike will identify with this story of a school excursion. On his class visit to the museum, Arthur notices something the others do not and is distracted. The teacher tries to keep the children together and moving through the exhibits only to be exhausted and require time out herself. This is a marvelous book for an independent reader, or perhaps a teacher with her class group. The exhibits that Arthur’s class visit will act as ideal talking points as young children should ask many questions, the adult reader will enjoy the explanations which only adds to the experience of the shared reading.
The illustrations which are simple and clean show a diverse group of children. I believe this will allow extra fun in the reading process as the children identify themselves and their friends in the pictures. The illustrations also add to the story by leaving unanswered questions giving children the opportunity to imagine what may happen next.
Lucinda Gifford is the author and illustrator of Arthur and the Curiosity. On her website she calls herself ‘emerging’ but having already illustrated six books for other writers and two of her own, it would seem she has already emerged.
This book should appeal to teacher librarians as much as parents. I’m looking forward to reading my copy to some young children and being involved in a lively conversation afterward.
Jacque Duffy is the author and illustrator of the series ‘That’s not a …” learn to read books used in all Queensland State Primary Schools, two picture books and one local history book. www.jacquesartandbooks.com