Next up in my picture book review sprint for today, Amelie and the Great Outdoors written by Fiona Barker, illustrated by Rosie Brooks and published by Matador Books.
This was very exciting book post to arrive at work recently, beautifully put together and the book inside was not to disappoint.
This story originated from Fiona’s daughter’s hatred of touching grass. Funnily enough, my brother had the same problem when he was little, and I hated touching sand, so maybe this isn’t so crazy or uncommon a problem with children?
So, we meet Amelie, the little girl who refuses to go outside to play. She’s much happier inside, on her own playing with her toys. Her parents try all they can to gently persuade Amelie to venture outdoors, but nothing seems to work. Until Barlow a little bird appears and begins to tell Amelie of all she’s missing. Amelie, with his help, begins to appreciate how GREAT the outdoors can really be.
Amelie and the Great Outdoors is a lovely story, Fiona has written it with great sensitivity. I just loved Amelie’s sweet, friendly and polite character, always saying “no thankyou”, clearly wracked with worry and fear of the outdoors. It has quite an old fashioned feel to it, made me feel quite nostalgic reading it. The writing has the feel of classics we love.
Amelie is, over time, gently enticed outside, and shown what a wonderful place it can be without force or frustration. This is another of those picture books with plenty of written content, making it wonderful to read to older children as well as younger, and it has a lovely gentle style to it. I really loved reading this aloud.
Rosie’s illustrations are an absolute joy to look at! They have a loose and soft watercolour style to them, but the colours are bright and varied and just so lovely to look at. Each aspect of the outdoors has a very different atmosphere perfectly represented. They have a sweet and friendly feel which reflects the gorgeous story so well.
I loved this book because I could see so many uses for it in the library or classroom setting, as well as just being an entertaining story to read. For example, anxious and shy children reluctant to go and play with others could really benefit from reading this story. I also loved the coverage of all the different seasons really clearly defined through the writing and illustrations. Story books covering the seasons are something we get asked for an awful lot in the library and this is about as good as it gets from that point of view.
An all round attractive, sweet and positive book, I’m really pleased to have been sent this one. A little gem, a must read!
If you’d like to know about Fiona Barker why not give her a follow where she hangs out on good old Twitter:
And Rosie Brooks has her own website no less. You can find her here:
Amelie and the Great Outdoors is available from all good bookshops now!
Thank you for reading this rather adventurous and outdoorsy Book Monster review.