To Get To Me
Random House, 2013
hbk., RRP $A19.95
“Hi Ahmed. It’s me, Peter. I’m going on an excursion to visit the animals at the zoo. Do you want to come with me?” A common request that most would not see as the foundation for a delightful children’s picture book. BUT there’s a twist- Ahmed lives in Morocco and Peter is in Sydney and so there’s quite a journey to make. But Peter knows just what Ahmed has to do starting with riding his favourite camel through the desert, he gives Ahmed the directions and through a series of charming illustrations accompanied by simple but engaging text, he gets to Sydney, finally hopping on the ferry and the chairlift to take him to the zoo.
On the surface, this appears to be a simple picture book about transport for the preschool child, but there is much in both the text and the pictures that make it so much richer with lots of new things to be discovered with each reading. There’s the onomatopoeia of the transport words which the young child can both suggest and make with enthusiasm; and details in the pictures such as the text which transitions from Arabic to English; opportunities to identify modes of transport, symbols, colours; things to count and so it goes on, making this a new favourite with Miss 2 but still engaging for Miss 7 who got out her globe and tracked the journey, learning much along the way.
A great introduction to the world beyond our shores which could kickstart any number of investigations for our youngest readers.