The Journey Home by Frann Preston-Gannon
A wee bit late thanks to my laptop being naughty over the weekend and immitating a Blue Screen of Death, but hopefully you people out there on the Interwebs will forgive me (?)! So, what have I got… well, @playingbythebook’s tweet inspired me to review this picturebook as it’s particularly relevant to her question about books to do with ecosystems and conservation.
Publisher: Pavilion Children’s Books
A polar bear finds himself without any ice or food, so he gets in a boat and sails off to see what he can find. When he sails to a city, he finds a panda, who climbs into the boat and joins him as they bob on. They sail on a bit more, and meet an orangutan who’s unfortunately run out of trees to swing in, so they pop in too. Then they meet an elephant, hiding from hunters, and with a bit of a chat, she gets in too and they all keep sailing on together. Despite feeling homesick, the friends eventually drop in on an island where they meet a chirpy dodo, who tells them that of course they can go back home, of course! Just as soon as the ice comes back, the city disappears, the trees regrow and the hunters stop hunting.
This is not exactly a happy happy bedtime read. It’s beautifully executed, don’t get me wrong though – beautifully quiet and understated with very pretty illustrations (I especially like the marbley look of the elephant) and writing that occasionally curls round the page to frame the pictures. It also includes information at the back of the book about the various animals and their habitats. With that in mind, I think this would be a brilliant book to use in lessons about the environment for young children, but not necessarily my first choice for bedtime. It’s great for provoking questions and would be an excellent book to frame a unit round, but I’m guessing questions aren’t exactly what’s needed for sleepy byes!
Find it here