Review Blog

Mar 27 2018

Eric makes a splash by Emily MacKenzie

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Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408882962
(Age: 4+) Themes: Fear, Overcoming fear, Swimming. Eric is a worrier. He worries about the smallest of things: getting lost in the park, making his boots dirty, splashing in a puddle, what Mum has given him for lunch. So much so that he halts at trying different things or even doing everyday things. His friend, Flora is fearless, and buoys him up when he is worried. She often offers an alternative perspective of whatever they are doing, making him imagine that he is somewhere else or perhaps something else.
So when he pulls back at splashing in the puddles, she asks him to imagine that he is a piglet or a hippo rolling about int he mud. When he is troubled by climbing the frame she suggests that he imagines that he is a spider with legs that attach themselves using their sticky web. But when an invitation comes along for a pool party he is dismayed. Flora must make an extra effort to get him into bathers and to the pool's edge and finally into the water. But when he realises that he can swim he finds that he has another problem to solve: Flora.
This is an easily digested story of overcoming fears, of how friends can help, and will be read eagerly by younger readers, ready to offer their own examples of fears and how to get over them.
Fran Knight

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