Flame stands waiting by Corinne Fenton

cover image

Ill. by Sebastian Ciaffaglione. Black dog books, 2010. ISBN 978 1742030951.
(Ages: Primary) Reminiscent of a much older story and illustration technique, Flame stands waiting will induce tears from even the most hardened of hearts. The story of a horse in a carousel, grounded to the one spot while all the others seem to float in the air as they turn in their fixed circles, is a well worn story of the rejected, the one which stands alone, but reaches fulfillment because of the heart of a small girl who sees the horse for what it is. She uses her imagination to take the horse out of its fixed place and soar above the clouds.
All the other kids leap for the moving horses, but Flame waits, unwanted until the young girl who dreams of things beyond what she sees, comes along. A tender story which will appeal to those who wish to share a moving story with the class or their children and grandchildren, Flames stands waiting recalls carousels of the past, but encourages the young to dream.
Like Fenton's Queenie, I cried from cover to cover, so I can only warn you! Read it first before reading it aloud. The illustrations by Sebastian Ciaffaglione capture the times between the two wars expertly with the large number of children taken to the amusement park by their parents. The clothing, styles of hair and dress are all redolent of the times when things were far less easy than today, when going to an amusement park was the highlight of the year.
Fran Knight