Review Blog

Oct 24 2011

The Anything Shop by Dawn Meredith

cover image

Ill. by Lesley Vamos. Wombat Books, 2011. ISBN: 978-1-921633-51-5.
(Age 8-12) Charlie is a boy who stumbles across a shop which promises that all his dreams could come true. After seeing other children walking out of the Anything Shop with such wonders as a walking teddy bear who seemed to be talking to its new owner and a boy with two toy fighter planes that actually engaged in a dog fight with each other as he walked along with them, his curiosity got the better of him.
A man called Alfred is spruiking outside with a megaphone and invites Charlie in, assuring him that money is not necessary. He can buy or trade. Charlie decides to buy a cricket bat that only ever hits sixes. He chose to pay for this cricket bat by trading the embarrassing hugs his family members constantly give him.  Charlie experiences the short term joy of being the hero of the cricket team but in the process he learns a valuable lesson about what is really important in life. This book taps into the emotions of a child effectively, from the feeling of not being good at cricket, the initial joy of success and then the feelings of a life with no hugs. In his search to resolve his problems, Charlie meets Sam, another customer of the Anything Shop, and together they seek to undo the decisions they both made.
This delightful book is well written and has great illustrations to help young readers picture the characters in the book.
This book is aimed at 8 to 12 year olds and could be used as a quick read aloud in an upper primary class to demonstrate the components of a Narrative. Setting the scene, complication, sequence of events, resolution and the moral are clearly evident in this book and could be discussed along the way.
Matt Eldridge

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