The Big Snow Adventure by Alison Reynolds, illustrated by Mikki Butterley (Five Mile Press) HB RRP $14.99 ISBN 9781760400651
Reviewed by Dianne Bates
Here is another inexpensive picture book in the About Pickle and Bree’s Guide to Good Deeds which aims to gently teach small children how to explore the skills needed to successfully manage relationships with their friends and family.
In this book Pickle and Bree each displays poor manners by not waiting their turn in the ski shop and upsetting their friends Jason and Anna, Reggie and Lucy. Then they refuse to follow the teacher’s instructions about skiing downhill and thus cause mayhem. In a snowball fight, Pickle ignores his friends’ pleas not to throw a huge ball – and he makes Reggie and Lucy disappear.
As a result of the friends’ ignorance of manners, the others don’t want to play with them anymore. ‘Maybe I should have paid more attention to the rules,’ said Pickle. ‘Nobody wants to play with me. I’m a big, blundering, bumbling bear.’ And, says Bree, ‘I’m a pushy, pesky pain the neck.’
Luckily the others are forgiving and when the six of them go kiting downhill, Pickles and Bree take their turn so all have fun together.
This is a simply told, sweet story which offers a message to youngsters without being preachy. One can imagine the child reader and parent talking about taking turns in order to be a good friend. In the back of this book, as in all of the Pickle and Bree books there is a full page ‘Guide to Good Deeds’, a list of reasons for and outcomes of following rules which the parent (or teacher) can discuss. Great for ethics teachers in particular!