Alfie's big wish by David Hardy

cover image

Magabala Books, 2014. ISBN 9781922142535
(Age: Pre-school) Recommended. Aboriginal themes, Loneliness, Australian bush. A sequel to Alfie's search for destiny, this charming picture book tells of Alfie's need for a companion. He is lonely, and his attempts at playing with others comes to nothing as his friends have left with their parents and the others are too old. He sees a falling star and makes a wish. The very next day he wakes and hearing a noise int he grass nearby, creeps over to take a look. He is instantly surprised and happy when he finds a young girl hiding there, the answer to his wishes.
David Hardy is a descendant of the Bankitndji people of northern New South Wales, and for many years has worked as a freelance illustrator for Walt Disney Studios. The influence of working here is obvious in his illustrative style, with large eyed chubby children taking up the central position on a full colour background. The charm of the illustrations invites the reader to immediately identify with the sad boy, and read on until the promised denouement is realised.
In the background can be seen images of the Australian bush which will further delight readers, recognising flora and fauna. I like the use of the sketched outlines of Alfie in the endpapers, as this gives a model for younger children to try their own drawings of the young lad.
Fran Knight