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

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Review: Esmeralda's Nest

A look into the life of Esmeralda the pig is to discover story upon story. The cover is a portrait of Esmeralda and her joyful disposition. 

Inside the covers is like a box of chocolates. Where will your eye fall first?

Stunning end pages carry Farm Notes written and drawn by a child’s hand. These prepare us with information about farm animals and tools.
A black pig with a white stripe is called a Saddleback Pig. I didn’t know that! (I love a book I can learn something from!)

Did you know that a spinning jenny holds the wire for fencing so it doesn’t get tangled? Or that the name of the tool used to fix fences is a grapple tool?
That’s knowledge only from the front end pages. The back ones have farm notes on pigs and piglets.
Now into the story.
It starts on a very hot Sunday. Esmeralda rolls in a mud bath to cool down. She does some digging with her snout and takes her find down the hill. Each day for the rest of the week sees the gorgeous filled out pig, digging and carrying her finds downhill.
But where is she taking them and what is she using all that she finds for?
The highly talented Mandy Foot has done a stupendous job in illustrating a week in Esmeralda’s life.  The animals, children and adults on the farm display their emotions with body and facial expressions that speak a thousand words.
The pictures in fine lines and brilliant colour are full of activity with the images of farm life, real. From the lopsided fence to the washing on the Hills Hoist, the restringing of the fence wire, the dog house and the ladder made of fencing boards on the trunk of the tree, all breathe life onto the pages.
Robert Moore’s text in brilliant. Precise, minimal, and enough. It stands back and allows the images to take the lead. Two stories: words and pictures.
I loved this. Children will love it as much as the adults that share it with them.
Title: Esmerelda’s Nest
Author: Robert Moore
Illustrator: Mandy Foot
Publisher: MidnightSun Publishing, $29.99
Publication Date: October 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781925227666
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book