Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Children’s Book Review, Miss Mae’s Saturday

by Susan Stephenson,

I am predisposed to love books that encourage imagination and creativity. Miss Mae’s Saturday joins others like On Sudden Hill, Box, and Incredibilia in encouraging children to practise using their imagination muscles - often! Written by Justine Flynn, illustrated by J. Yi and published by Random House Australia (2016) this children’s picture book is aimed squarely at the pre-school and early primary market. RRP: $Au16.99

From the publisher:

Is anything as sad and boring as being stuck inside on a rainy Saturday? It depends on your imagination...

Miss Mae goes on marvellous adventures with her grandmother. But this week a storm is keeping them stuck indoors. Mae is terribly disappointed.

That is, until Grandma produces a giant cardboard box and promises Mae the most exciting adventure she's ever had. All Mae needs is a little imagination.

Next year’s Children’s Book Week theme in Australia is: Escape to Everywhere. Here’s my first book to start the 2017 resource list! Mae loves when Grandma visits and they go on adventures together. But one Saturday it rains, and Mae looks glum until Grandma suggests they can go on an adventure right at home with a cardboard box. By the power of imagination, their box transforms into jeep, aeroplane and space rocket as they visit Africa, Korea, even the Moon! Escape to everywhere indeed.

There’s lots to like about this book. Flynn has kept the story simple, with a nice mix of dialogue and narrative. I can hear Grandma calling Mae “Miss Mae” as her pet name, and appreciated Grandma being the sort of senior citizen who shouted “Hold on to your underpants!” when they take off in the jeep! That line alone is sure to bring hilarity from the preschool crowd. I loved the way Yi retained the cardboard box “look” in the imaginary vehicles. Mae and Grandma’s feelings are portrayed very well, too, especially their excitement and enjoyment and there’s lots of movement and vitality in each illustration.

Teacher notes are available from Random House’s website.

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1 comment:

  1. I like it when there are grandparents represented as being fun people. Looks like a great book!


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