Review Blog

Nov 02 2012

Peggy by Anna Walker

cover image

Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 9781742832708.
(Ages 3+) Highly recommended. Picture book. Independence. Safety. The seemingly simple tale of Peggy the chook, finding her feet in the city will attract a willing audience in all places where books are read and enjoyed. Peggy lives in a small world; she wakes in her little house in a quiet street, eats breakfast, plays in the garden and watches the pigeons. But one day a gust of wind springs up and carries her away, landing her in a street in the city, far from home. In beautiful, understated ink and collage illustrations, the feeling of the little hem lost and alone in the busy streets, ignored by the bustling workers with their sea of umbrellas will win the hearts of the readers, watching as Peggy tries to find her way home. In her wanderings through the street, she sees things she has never seen before.But finding her way home is not easy. She follows someone with a bunch of sunflowers just like the ones in her garden, and sits on the train, before finding the pigeons she used o watch in her backyard.So all is well, but now she has friends and experiences outside her own home that she can recall, and sometimes even repeat.
This is a lovely story, full of adventure as Peggy finds new sights and sounds in the city, and unexpectedly finds friends. Her bravery and courage are to be admired as she boards the train, sits on someone's head, settles down for the night on a cushion in a shop window, and asks strangers for directions. Each of the things she does could initiate discussions with children at home or in the classroom, about being lost and keeping safe. But it could be well used for many discussions about bravery and courage, about trying something new, about adventure, about not being afraid of the unknown.
The illustrations with their nod to Tohby Riddle and John Brack, are wonderful. Each time I read the book, I see something new to think about and look at again, and children will too.
Fran Knight

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