EK Books, 2017
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
When Ollie receives a letter from his grandmother in the form of a treasure map, he is very excited. What could his treasure be? Could it be a new truck? Or walkie-talkies? Or maybe that game he had been wanting forever? Full of excitement and anticipation he sets out on the trail – looking for the tree with the biggest leaves and gazing at the sky; smelling the brightest yellow rose that reminds him of Gran; wiggling his toes in the grass by the fountain then listening to the tinkle of the water as it splashes; and tasting a plump, red, ripe strawberry in the bowl on the picnic blanket. Finally, he has to lie down and look upwards – and there is in treasure. But it is not what he thought it would be and he is angry and disappointed until he notices the note that Gran has written…
This is a wonderful story about finding joy in the simple things that are all around us just by using our senses and taking notice of what it always there. Beautifully illustrated in a gentle palette that accentuates the text, young readers could have fun talking about what they would consider to be treasure and whether it has to take the form of a physical object and discuss whether Ollie was right to be disappointed and angry when his was not what he expected. They could talk about their own favourite sights, sounds, smells and surfaces and perhaps, as a class, identify a sensory treasure trail around the school, map and travel it, taking photos and writing about their discoveries. On a more personal note, some might even get their own treasure map from their own grandmothers!
An original story with a wonderful message.