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

Friday 21 August 2020

Review: All the Dear Little Animals

It was summer and there was nothing for them to do.

On a day when they were more than bored, Esther and her friend find a dead bumble bee and bury it. Esther digs the grave. Her friend writes the poem they recite.  They go searching and find an expired mouse. That too, is placed in a cigar box and given a funeral service. The children’s desire is to be of service to all dead creatures.

Esther’s little brother Puttie is added to the group. It was the beginning of Funerals Ltd.

Harold the hamster followed after they contacted all the people that they knew in the area about their enterprise. Business was brisk but nobody paid.

The next day we found something else to do. Something completely different.

This book, although beautifully illustrated in colour by the talented Eva Eriksson, gives a dark but realistic view of how children conceive the most bizarre ideas.  These they put into practice to pass the time when they are left to their own resources and have nothing else to do.

The other way of looking at this story is the depth and breadth of a child’s imagination. Life appears so simple to them. They are mostly fearless as they test their ability to impress by showing off, and in persuading others to follow their lead.

This is a book for parental discretion. It can be used to address death and dying for all living things. Or it can be used as an example of what may occur, when boredom sets in, and children are left alone to entertain themselves.

Title: All the Dear Little Animals
Author: Ulf Nilsson
Illustrator: Eva Eriksson
Publisher: Gecko Press, $15.99
Publication Date: February 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781776572823
For ages: 6 – 8
Type: Junior Fiction