Thursday 28 June 2012

180. Gem by Holly Hobbie

by Holly Hobbie

Published June 2012 Hachette Australia (Little Brown)

From the publisher:
Look carefully. There may be a gem in your garden.
For nearly four decades, watercolorist Holly Hobbie has drawn inspiration from the wonders of nature. During one especially hard winter, she found herself imagining the story of a determined toad's spring journey. 

I am a big fan of wordless picture books.  It may seem like a bit of cheating s going on on my Year of Reading if I include a wordless picture book, but I can't help myself, I just have to share it.  The book begins with a letter from a Grandmother to her Granddaughter writing about the long cold winter she has endured and her memories of the "gem' discovered in the garden one spring.

The book then goes on to tell the story of the toad, awakening from hibernation in Spring.  The illustrations are stunning  done in watercolour and pen and ink.  The colour is both bright and soft and really captures the feeling of a beautiful warm Spring day.

The toad pokes out of his winter hideaway, and begins his journey, excited at the prospect  of the sunshine and the open countryside.  Disaster almost strikes however, when the first place he heads is the road, where there is a near miss with an oncoming car.  Safe from the dangers of speeding cars, he hops off and finds himself a lovely lady toad, and their meeting results in many little toads.  His job done here, he keeps going and finds himself in a beautiful garden, with a very handy birdbath.  Here we meet the author's Granddaughter who sees the toad and picks him up, only to let him go so he can be on his way and enjoy the beauty of the garden.  The book finished with the letter from the Granddaughter back to her Grandmother saying that she had wanted to keep the toad as a pet, but knew that he had to be free. 

If you are a lover of nature and beautiful artwork, you must have a look at this book.  If you are a parent or teacher who wants a different sort of book to share with children you should also find this book.  You may think that a book without words is not a book that you can 'read' with your child, but you will be amazed at how much sharing, discussion and imaginative story telling will come from a book like this.

Who will like this book: Girls and Boys age 4+
Read it if you like: making up your own stories

No comments:

Post a Comment