by Lotte Wotherspoon (author & illustrator)
In Tiny Owl On The Ramshackle Farm – written and illustrated by Lotte Wotherspoon – the story of an owl afraid of the dark gets a modern, original makeover with everything you could want in a picture book.
As Tiny Owl imagines what each night-time noise could be (and is repeatedly reassured) there are familiar farmyard characters drawn with witty nods – like cowboy boots for the bull, and a cast of wonderfully imaginative monsters introduced with fun, descriptive humour:
"There's a snuffle-snouted knicker-kicker creeping out there!"
The word play is just marvellous in this story and of course there is a nice moral in facing your fears and flying free, with a happy ending for our adorable new friend Tiny Owl.
The lovely, indie design with patterned, ink and pencil-coloured illustrations gives you more to see with each reading. Familiar pohutukawa trees, old Ford trucks and traditional Kiwi farm tractors set a New Zealand tone and each page is spread in a beautiful, interesting way. This would be a really special gift book to send overseas!
Children will love the sing-song, near-perfect rhyme and the repetition of
"But all is still on the ramshackle farm,
Just the babble of the brook in the midnight calm"
and there is so much scope for including little ones in the book with sound effects like
"Scritch, scratch, mewl and yowl,"
not to mention giggles over descriptions like the
"...farty-pants guts gobbler grunting out there!"
All in all I have to say I love this book. It is engaging in every way and I'm sure will give sweet dreams to tiny owls everywhere!
Author: Lotte Wotherspoon
Publisher: Clay Press
RRP: $29.95 hardback, $19.95 paperback