Eva's imagination by Wendy Shurety
Ill. by Karen Erasmus. New Frontier Publishing, 2018. ISBN
(Age: 4+) Themes: Imagination, Family, Adventure, Problem solving. When Eva cannot find anything to occupy herself, Mum tells he to go and find her imagination. She takes her dog, Chops and sets off. First she makes a list, then puts on her boots, taking a wooden spoon from the kitchen as her stick. They walk through the long valley of the passageway into the dining room with its forest of tree trunks listening to a bird's call. Under the table they find a discarded table napkin, and then walk up the stairs into the mountains, to find a cave. Climbing under the bed to explore the cave her hand comes to rest on something furry, and she finds her lost doll. Walking down the passageway once more, she hops into a rainforest, a wardrobe full of exciting things to see. Frightened by something soft and furry hanging down across her face, Eva calls out 'snake', and runs for the stairs. Chops finds some books and the two return to Mum, sure that they haven't found imagination, but loaded with the books and the lost toy.
Readers will know that imagination is used all through the story and Eva has not lost anything, but rather uses it all the time. Readers will love recognising the familiar parts of the house, sharing their own stories of what each room holds for them in their imaginations.
This is a lovely family oriented tale of a child and her mum in the house, finding something to occupy her mind as she explores the place with different eyes.
Erasmus' illustrations, like those of Freya Blackwood, give a loving warm feeling of family and togetherness from start to finish. I love the contrasting darkness of the pages when shadows appear on the wall of the passageway and the area under the dining room table becomes a forest. When Eva climbs under the bed and goes into the wardrobe, each illustrations is increasingly dark, but still radiating the warmth and security of the house.