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

Sunday 17 October 2021

Review: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is one of my favourite picture books.

It's the story of a young boy and one of his neighbours, Miss Nancy. Miss Nancy lives in the old people's home next door to Wilfrid, and he loves to visit all the residents.

Wilfrid's favourite person there is Miss Nancy, because just like him, she has four names (Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper). They share a special bond.

When Wilfrid hears his parents say that Miss Nancy has lost her memory, Wilfrid asks what a memory is. Everyone tells him something different.

Wilfrid wants to help Miss Nancy find her memories again.

He starts with his own memories, tied to some of his own special things. There are some shells, a puppet, and his grandfather's medal, not to mention his football.

When Wilfrid shares his precious collection with Miss Nancy, her memory is prompted and she begins to remember moments from long ago, early in her life. She tells Wilfrid all about them.

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is a highly evocative story. Just like Miss Nancy's memories, when you read it, you may be reminded of special experiences and relationships in your own life. It's a story you will remember for a long time.

First published more than thirty years ago, and in print ever since, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas. Julie Vivas' watercolour illustrations are beautifully suited to the story which is inspired by people and memories from Mem Fox's own life (Wilfrid is her father's name, and Nancy is her mother's name).

This is a perfect story for helping young children to understand what a memory is, and to understand how older people in particular sometimes find it difficult to remember things.

I highly recommend Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge for readers of all ages, for reading solo, or as a family. It deserves to be on everyone's bookshelves.

Title: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
Author: Mem Fox
Illustrator: Julie Vivas
Publisher: Omnibus Books, $ 17.99
Publication Date: 1984
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781862918177
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Books