Review Blog

Sep 21 2011

For all creatures by Glenda Millard and Rebecca Cool, illustrator

cover image

Walker Books. 2011. ISBN 978 921520 81 8
(All ages) Recommended. Picture book. The array of creatures on the front cover impels the reader to quickly open this book to read what is going on. The title, reminding us of the hymn, All creatures great and small, too evokes many different memories and hints as we turn the page. Each page gives us a stanza with four lines of phrases, each phrase containing a group of words which describes a set of animals. But the descriptions are not those usually found, they are words which evoke a response from the reader, memories and observations, rounded off by the refrain, We are thankful. Frogs, for example, are described as a chorus of croakers, and this evocative phrase made me immediately think of times listening to frogs along a riverbank or pond. The words used are amazing, and Millard does not baulk at using words which will send both reader and teacher to the dictionary.
Each page is illustrated with animals and plants, surrounding the words in a visually stunning way, enticing the reader to look both at the words so framed and the illustrations complementing the words.
The colourful pages offer a dense series of richly detailed pictures for readers to look at over and over again. Their warmth and naiive quality will have immediate appeal to all readers, and are a stunning companion to the text.
Readers who enjoyed Isabella's garden by the same two will love this prayer to thankfullness for all we have around us. A wonder filled contribution to the array of animal picture books, this is a stand out.
Fran Knight

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