A Good Place
40pp., hbk., RRP $A25.99
Bee, Beetle, Ladybird and Dragonfly are each looking for a new home. They each want something different – Bee wants some beautiful flowers; Beetle some dead wood; Ladybird some leaves and Dragonfly is looking for a pond – but just when they think they have found what they want, it proves to be not-so-perfect after all. And then Butterfly comes to the rescue…
A story for our youngest readers, with illustrations that look like their own, this is one that will appeal as it introduces them to the concept of each creature having different needs – it’s not a one-size-fits-all world. It also alerts them to the diversity they will find in their own gardens, perhaps even encouraging them to plant one even if it’s just a pot on the balcony. But as well as the diversity, there is also the opportunity to look at the similarities of the four friends – the first illustration clearly shows the common characteristics of insects – perhaps starting them on their first investigation into the classification of the world’s creatures in general, and minibeasts in particular.
Bright, colourful and engaging, for all its seeming simplicity, Cousins demonstrates that we can learn from picture books if we delve more deeply..