Review Blog

Dec 03 2009

Fly away Peter by Frank Dickens

cover image

Ill. by Ralph Steadman. Pavilion Children's Books, 2008. ISBN 9781843651222.
(Ages 5-8) This charming picture book story of a giraffe with a short neck, Jeffrey, and his friend, Peter, the bird who cannot fly, and who get together because they are different from their peers, will delight smaller children as they read of their friendship. The two animals get together as they have no other friends, and relish in playing games with each other. During a game of hide and seek, Peter hides behind a rock, but Jeffrey cannot find him. Eventually he looks down the rabbit hole and becomes stuck. Peter comes to his rescue and realising that he cannot pull him out by himself, he must get help. But his brothers and sisters are out of reach so he struggles to fly to them. His success means that many animals come to Jeffrey's rescue and help pull him from the rabbit hole.
Originally published in 1963, Steadman's illustrations have been reproduced from his original drawings, with a few more added that have hitherto been unpublished. Together this story of friendship, belonging and struggling to overcome difficulties is as fresh today as it was 40 years ago, and will find a wide readership. An astute teacher or parent will be able to find links with creation stories from around the world.
Fran Knight

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