Review Blog

Jun 17 2012

Florentine and Pig have a very lovely picnic by Eva Katzler

cover image

Ill. by Jess Mikhail. Bloomsbury, 2012. ISBN 9781408824375.
(Age 5+) Recommended. Florentine and her friend Pig decide to have a picnic as it is such a lovely day. Florentine made up a list of all the marvelous things that they would make to eat, including apple and carrot muffins with sunshine lemon icing. When they found that they had no apples, Pig looked through his telescope at the apple tree and discovered three of the 'biggest, reddest, juiciest and crunchiest apples' at the top of the tree. What an adventure Pig had getting those apples! Then the pair got to work making their delicious picnic fare.
Children love going on picnics and the description of preparing the feast for the occasion is sure to win them over as readers. The narrative flows along easily, with internal rhymes and alliteration adding to the enjoyment of the words and the ease of reading it aloud. The change in the size of the print to emphasis what is happening is also an appealing device to help beginning readers to work out what is happening.
Jess Mikhail's illustrations in soft pastel water colours are delightful. Lots of little details like the patterns on Florentine's clothes and the green striped sweater that Pig is wearing, the wall paper and the pots and pans, make for a visual feast.
To top off a great picture book are a collection of recipes and craft created by BBC TV's Jess and Laura Tilli. I can't wait to make Cheddar cheese and pumpkin seed bites and Green pea picnic-time tarts with my grandchildren when they visit!
Pat Pledger

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