Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Fiction - 8 years and up

To be published February 7th 2014

NZ Writer & Illustrator
Mary McCallum, illustrated by Annie Hayward
Dappled Annie and the Tigrish
Gecko Press, 2014   $19.99pb 137pp
ISBN 978 1 8775 7991 2
Themes:         Brothers and sisters/ Imagination/ Lighthouses/ Loss/ Out of doors/ Summertime
Annie’s mother has her feet firmly on the ground as she moves about in her safe domestic world during this long hot New Zealand summer. Annie’s father is also down to earth - he is the local lighthouse keeper waiting anxiously for his new assistant to arrive and is away from the house most of the time. The children  (Annie and her younger brother Robbie who is only four) live in a different world. Annie’s is a rich one of the imagination but so vividly painted and involving that the reader is almost convinced by the end that this is the true reality where hedges talk and the tigrish is an ever-present influence. The writer has managed to enter into the mind and feelings of a nine-year-old child so we see a new world through her eyes in lightly etched descriptions and ideas that are never overdone. The book is written in such a way it would be a pleasure to read aloud to an appreciative group. I envy the teacher or librarian, parent or caregiver who has the opportunity.**

Year 4 up/ Age 8 up

** Now that I have moved and it is the summer holidays I haven’t had the chance to build up a bank of children on whom to try out any new material.

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