Review Blog

Nov 20 2015

Dandelions by Katrina McKelvey

cover image

Ill. by Kirrili Lonergan. EK Books, 2015. ISBN 9781921966828
(Age: Pre-school - Yr 2) Oh dear! Dad has mown the lawn and, to his daughter's dismay, he's cut down two dandelions. He sees them as weeds but she's been watching and waiting for them to be puffballs so she can blow their fluffiness away on the wind. To her, dandelions are magical, a part of a miniature world that big people can't see. Disappointed but pragmatic and forgiving her father, she settles to wait for them to grow again but dad has a surprise for her. There are a couple by the verandah post that he hasn't pulled and they're just ripe for blowing. But where do they go when you blow? Take your imagination on a journey as you follow the tiny parachutes over the fence, along the street, through the park, down to the river and onwards, ever onwards.
This is a most calming, peaceful story about enjoying being in the moment and taking time out to just be, imagine and wonder. Who hasn't enjoyed the sunny face of a dandelion and blown a 'fairy clock'? Who would love to take time out, lie on the fresh-mown lawn, look at the endless sky and just dream? Where will your imagination drift? Does it go the same place mine does? Why not? Celebrating a most ordinary moment in daily life, it encourages the adult reader to take time to notice the small things that are big things to the children in our lives and rejoice in them.
The beautiful, gentle watercolours give the book so much of its charm and tranquillity, giving life to the lyrical text through its beautiful design. Created by a former paediatric nurse, they ooze a knowledge of very young children in need of comfort and time out, a chance to take themselves out of wherever they are at the moment.
In the busy, noisy life of school, this is a perfect choice for that after-lunch settling period as you invite the children to imagine they had just blown the seeds and where they would travel. Would they have a different journey from that in the story? And what happens to them when they land? A magical introduction to an investigation about how things grow!
Barbara Braxton

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