This beautiful book pulls the young reader into an irresistible, poetic journey to places under the sea, over the hills and beyond.
A small girl grins as she paints a smile over the face of the earth. Contemporary poets and renowned greats such as Milton, Tennyson, and Blake blend seamlessly together in an eclectic treat.
Ogden Nash’s lines on two grim tree-fellers — “I think that I shall never see, A billboard lovely as a tree”, will raise the first grin.
Though Amanda Shuffleup is the human element in the story, this is really the tale of an imaginary friend, Rudger, who is desperately looking for stable companionship, while at the same time studiously avoiding the clutches of one Mr Bunting. Bunting is a sinister shadowy being whose existence depends on finding and eating imaginary friends, be they in human or animal form.
Amanda’s mother accepts her daughter’s eccentricities but her friends are not as understanding. Though Amanda is somewhat self-centred and does not hesitate to use Rudger’s friendship to her own advantage he is genuinely horrified when she has an accident.
The resulting loss of memory by Amanda sees Rudger fade into a world inhabited only by an amazing collection of imaginaries.
From here he sets out to track down Amanda, all the time keeping a wary eye out for the dreaded Mr Bunting. Equally sinister is Bunting’s assistant, and in this magic, if at times dark tale she and Bunting are atmospherically captured by Emily Gravett¹s illustrations. Suitable for age 10 and upwards.
This is a colourful encyclopaedia with 600 illustrations of creatures grouped by habitat, special talent, characteristic, etc.
Each creature has an all too sparse accompanying titbit of information, but the humour and wit in the illustrations make this a must for any school library. Suitable for age eight and upwards.