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

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Review: Virgil and Owen

When Virgil the penguin finds a lost polar bear, Owen, he decides that they will be friends. He takes Owen different places to play, but gets annoyed when Owen also enjoys playing with the other animals. After all, Owen is his polar bear.

Eventually, Virgil storms off to sulk because Owen won’t ignore everyone else. When Owen invites him to come back and join in the fun, Virgil discovers that playing with a group can be fun too.

Books about making friends and including others abound, but the simple story of Virgil and Owen focuses on a particular aspect of childhood friendship that is often overlooked – when one person wants exclusive friendship with another. In the beginning, Virgil treats Owen more like a belonging than a friend (he doesn’t even ask him his name), and it takes a little while for Virgil to realise that he will have more fun if he relaxes and joins in the activities of the group.

Author/illustrator Paulette Bogan has created two appealing characters with her fun illustrations. I confess that I was hooked by the title (Virgil and Owen are such great names for a penguin and polar bear). While the message of the book is a little obvious, it is a great way of reminding children that it is important to ‘share’ their friends with others.

Title: Virgil & Owen
Author/Illustrator: Virgil and Owen
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's, $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: March 2015
Format: Hardcover (with dust jacket)
ISBN: 9781639633728
For ages: 3 - 7
Type: Picture Book

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