'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Review: Miss Llewellyn-Jones Goes to Town

Title: Miss Llewellyn-Jones Goes to Town

Author: Elaine Forrestal

Illustrator: Moira Court

Publisher: Fremantle Press, $24.95RRP

Format: Softcover

Language: English

ISBN: 9781921696046

For ages: 2 – 6

Type: Picture Book

About: There’s so many children’s books I like, love, even adore. But then there’s the ones I really love. I mean – really fall in love with. And I know these books because they’re the ones that make me turn a nice limey shade of green.

Sigh. I wish I’d written this book. I love it so much. I love eccentric characters. Recently, a librarian I admire made a presentation and commented that the greatest storytelling books often include an eccentric character. How true.

And Miss Llewellyn-Jones fits the bill.

Riding her pistachio moped to town, teddy-in-basket (just wait – every child you read to will say “Look at the teddy!”), with her red helmet on and a flounce of golden curls peeking out, kids will delight at Miss Llewellyn-Jones riding up hill, up hill, up hill and doooooooown, with her spotted bloomers peeking out of her billowing skirt.

What child – or adult, for that matter – doesn’t love the charms or a whimsical, childlike adult?

As Miss Llewellyn-Jones collects her wares from the proprietors in town – sausages, bread, lollipops (in lieu of cupcakes), persimmons, gooseberries and freshly squeezed cumquat juice – teddy, who becomes a tad bored – slips from his basket crammed with goodies and wanders away.

Can Miss Llewellyn-Jones find dear teddy or will he tumble into a post box and be sent away to forever?

This book has a charming and perfect balance of prose and illustration that form a tight marriage both illustrator and author must be proud of. The beauty and rhythm of the storyline and pictures truly make it a keeper to stash away in the glory box for your kids' kids.

Both children and adults will adore scooting along with Miss Llewellyn-Jones and teddy, and I, for one, am keen to see where their daily adentures take them next.

Author website

Illustrator website

This book is available online

Read an interview with illustrator Moira Court here.