Review Blog

Jul 17 2017

The perfect thing by Sally Morgan

cover image

Ill. by Ambelin Kwaymullina. Scholastic, 2017. ISBN 9781742991122
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Aboriginal themes, Grandparents, Solutions, Family, Imagination. When Grandpa wants to go to the park, Lily thinks up all the excuses in the world She tells him that the dog has eaten her sneakers, and the cat has shredded her rain coat, she has a sore throat and the bird has taken her scarf for its nest, the wild weather will give her an ear ache and the wombat has used her warm hat to put in its burrow. Every time she finds an excuse to deflect Grandpa from going to the park, he finds a solution, and each solution is wonderfully inventive and delightfully illustrated In place of her sneakers he offers his thongs and when she tells him that they are too big, he suggests she pretend that she is a whale and that the thongs are flippers helping her to get to the park. Each of his perfect solutions offer another humorous response from Lily. His perfect thing is offered over and over again to her excuses, inviting the audience to think of perfect things for themselves when Lily offers another reason for not going to the park.
Kwaymullina's bold illustrations in bright swathes of colour are presented in framed sections on each page, asking the reader to see the story in sequences from one frame to the next.
The ending will bring more smiles as Morgan cleverly brings the story back to the beginning, with Grandpa and Lily going to the playground, the perfect thing.
This delightful story will encourage responses from the readers as they join Lily in her excuses and think along with Grandpa of ways to circumvent her reasons for not going. Imagination is all, from the invention of Lily's reasons, to the perfect things suggested by Grandpa to the two of them finding marvelous things at the playground. I loved the interaction between Lily and her Grandpa a wise old man, and the interplay between them. And younger readers will love the range of animals shown in the story.
Fran Knight

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