Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Ella & Mrs Gooseberry


Ella & Mrs Gooseberry by Vikki Conley, illustrated by Penelope Pratley (EK Books) RRP HB $24.99  ISBN 9781925335255

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Ella is a little girl equally observant and inquisitive in the most beautiful ways. She lives next door to an elderly lady, Mrs Gooseberry, who lives on her own. Ella notices that Mrs Gooseberry is quite grumpy and dismissive when in her front yard. However, when Ella sees Mrs Gooseberry through her bedroom window, she notices that she seems happy in her backyard with her veggie garden and chickens. When Ella questions her mother about the change of moods, her mother points out that Mrs Gooseberry gets sad and lonely and has lost her love.

Ella is puzzled by the idea that you can lose love and sets out on a mission to find out what love actually is. She seeks answers from some grown-ups including her mother, grandmother, school teacher and dance instructor. They each describe love in different but equally eloquent ways. Ella contemplates their responses and observes her environment. She then comes up with an idea that just might bring love back to Mrs Gooseberry.

Ella & Mrs Gooseberry would be a great inclusion in the primary classroom to spark conversation about kindness and compassion. The book would also be beneficial during literacy lessons, providing great examples on the use of figurative language to convey feelings and ideas.

Ella & Mrs Gooseberry is a beautifully emotive picture book that is sure to leave your heart happy. The pencil and watercolour illustrations are gorgeous and the soft colour palette complements the gentle story well. The book has themes of loneliness, compassion, loss, love and kindness and is highly recommended for children aged 4-8 years old.






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