Review Blog

Oct 22 2014

Noni the pony goes to the beach by Alison Lester

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743311141
(Age: pre school) Recommended. Animals, Beach, Friendship. Friendly Noni loves going to the beach when it is sunny, and takes her friends, Dave the dog, Coco the cat, and the ladies next door. At the beach the cows love standing in the water up to their knees, Coco who doesn't like to get wet, snoozes in an old fishing net strung between the branches of a tree, while Dave dives like an arrow into the sea. They all frolic with the seagulls, and watch the dolphins, eventually coming together to build a sandcastle in he shape of a boat. Coco sleeps on the top while Dave digs the moat. But the waves crash in and strand Dave so Noni has to go and rescue him. They all return home, tired and very contented.
In rhyme, Lester tells the story of a day at the beach, friends playing together and having a wonderful time. Not a shop or piece of electronic equipment in sight, no people to tell them what to do, not mobile phone or ipad. The day is just wonderful: the beach wide and open to all sorts of play, the friends involving themselves in a range of activities which they all enjoy.
Children will love reading of Noni and her friends, wishing they were there too, detailing to others the adventures they have had at the beach, listing the things they would do if they went. The unstructured nature of the day is just glorious, the sun is shining, the friends frolic together, they look at a variety of plants and animals and build something in the sand. This is a delightful book to read out loud and share.
Fran Knight

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