Clementine's walk by Anne White
New Frontier, 2013. ISBN 9781921928475.
(Age: 3+)Recommended. Picture book, Animals, Verse, Family, Responsibility. Clementine the family dog is desperate to be taken for a walk, but no one has the time to do it. Mum is painting, Nora is knitting, James is putting together a jigsaw puzzle taken apart by Clementine, Dad is reading the paper. The baby in its pram simply did not understand. Even the chooks do not want to be involved. But just when the whole family finish their tasks, and pronounce themselves ready to go for a walk, Clementine is nowhere to be found.
Told in rhyming stanzas, the reader will be introduced to the ideas behind poetry in this easy to read story. They will predict words that rhyme, select words that may fit the scanning lines, learn parts themselves to be able to say out loud when they reread the book, and simply learn to love the poetic form.
The endpapers with maps of the route taken by Clementine and the family will add to the fun of children reading the book for themselves, and also introduce mapping skills at a first stage.
The jaunty illustrations add to the fun of the story, as White uses watercolour and fine pencil outlines to construct her family and their problem. Clementine is wonderful, radiating a personality for all to see, and each member of the family has their own characteristics for the reader to spot. And I love the last three pages of the whole family, including the chooks being taken for a walk by Clementine.