Perfect by Danny Parker

cover image

Ill. by Freya Blackwood. Little Hare, 2015. ISBN 9781760125554
(Age: 5+) Warmly recommended. Historical picture book, Farm life, Outdoors, Family. Looking back to an idyllic childhood, where children roamed freely, talking to the cows, climbing trees, looking at the splendid view across the hills to the sea, this sentimental picture book shows a childhood that is perfect: one that does not involve TV, or hand held devices, parents or cars. Children reading it will be impressed with the freedom of the children depicted: allowed to make something in the kitchen even though a bowl is broken, making and flying their kites, climbing the biggest trees and sliding down the large branches, walking along the top of an old stone wall, until at the end of the day they retire back to the house, where more sedentary occupations keep them happily amused until bed time.
They read and play, the smaller child wrapping himself in a small blanket and lying on the floor, the older boy snuggling the cat while the girl writes and draws.
Each activity is undertaken by the three children, working often as a group, the older girl taking care of her siblings. And each page depicts an activity of some sort which today's children will relate to, either having done it themselves or wanting to try it out.
The soft illustrations suit the tone of the story, depicting a life not lived by many of our children today, but one alluded to in many books and magazines.
The seemingly simple verse will entreat young listeners, eager to follow the rhyme of the words, and earn some lines for themselves. A happy perfectly fine addition to the school library.
Fran Knight