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

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Review: Parachute

Toby is a little boy who loves to explore. Being so little, as we all once were, having something or someone to rely on--to make us feel less small--is of course, vital.

When step stools raise us to tap-turning, mirror-peeking heights, when bunk beds lift us to the ceiling, when eating breakfast at the kitchen bench is like climbing a ladder to the moon--these are the times a good, trusty parachute comes in handy.

And Toby's parachute comes in awfully handy.

One day, when Henry the cat gets caught in the backyard tree, Tony ponders a way to get him down. Climbing to the top with his parachute, he ingeniously lowers the cat to the ground, only to find himself parachute-free.

Can he make it to the ground without his safety net?

This is a sentimental story about growing older and learning to release our nets--but only in a literal sense, not a metaphorical sense, for even as adults, there is much we rely on for comfort and safety.

The story is also about perception, and how the way we view the world creates or quashes our fears.

Ottley's dreamy illustrations beautifully portray the acute angles of perception Toby experiences in this story, from his teetering high on a tree platform to his finally viewing an enormous elephant from on high.

It's amazing how small an elephant can be from on high.

Another fine collaboration from the duo who brought us No Kind of Superman.

Title: Parachute
Author: Danny Parker
Illustrator: Matt Ottley
Publisher: Little Hare, $24.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 June 2013
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9781921894206
For ages: 4 - 8
Type: Picture Book