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

Sunday 24 October 2021

Review: Afloat in Venice

Afloat in Venice captures the thrill of travel from the perpective of someone who has never been overseas before, and features both a sense of adventure and innocence.

In this simple and appealing story, Monkey is excited to be heading off on his first ever holiday.

He needs to pack before he leaves, and that means deciding what to take with him. Clothes are important of course, and if you're leaving the country, so is a passport.

Monkey has also been given a special gift, a camera. It will help him record memories of his trip.

Afloat in Venice is a cute and quirky tale told using beautiful photographs. Monkey himself is a soft toy and the photo composition places him carefully to help tell the story.

Ably guided by a new friend, Clarabella, Monkey explores the alleys and waterways of the historic floating city of Venice. There are gondola rides, old buildings to visit, and pizza to eat. Monkey takes lots of photographs, but accidentally loses his camera, and then Clarabella. What's he to do?

Venice is a unique place to visit, and this story reminded me of my own trip there. This is the first in a planned series, Monkey's Great Adventures, with the story and pictures created by Tina Wilson.

The friends Monkey meets along the way, and the clothes and objects he uses, are all knitted and integrated into the photos with him. They help bring the story to life and will likely encourage children's imaginative play with toys.

Afloat in Venice includes a CD with music and narration, composed by author and illustrator, and musician, Matt Ottley. The expressive music adds an extra dimension to the storytelling experience, and can be listened to with or without the book.

Reading Afloat in Venice is a great way to encourage children to learn more about Venice, as well as other places around the world. Monkey's experiences will also teach them about the value of friendship.

Download teachers' resources from the Monkey's Great Adventures website.

Download the music and narration from Matt Ottley's website.

Title: Afloat in Venice
Author/Illustrator: Tina Wilson 
Publisher: One Tentacle Publishing, $ 27.95
Publication Date: September 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780648511960
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book