Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Children’s Book Review, Lottie and Walter

by Susan Stephenson,

Lottie and Walter is a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Anna Walker and published by Penguin Random House (2019.) RRP: $Au 24 99 HB. I have previously reviewed many books either written and illustrated, or just illustrated by Anna Walker eg Florette and Go Go and the Silver Shoes.

From the publisher:

'I'm not swimming,' Lottie announced.

Lottie doesn't want to be afraid, but no matter what she does, she just can't go in the water.

Until she finds a surprising friend, who turns out to be more helpful than Lottie could ever have imagined...

I love Anna Walker’s picture books. There is always such a warmth and kindliness to them. I believe young children need lots of positive books in their lives, and Lottie and Walter is a fine example of this. Lottie is a little girl, who like many, is afraid of learning to swim. Mostly because she knows there is a shark hiding in the pool, waiting to EAT her. Luckily she meets a walrus called Walter who doesn’t seem to mind her decision not to swim, but sings gently, and eats lots of fish fingers.

The illustrations in Lottie and Walter are excellent. Water colours now hint at the terror of a lurking shark, and next at the delight of sharing a bubble bath with a walrus. Kids will make connections to their own lives via all the lovely details of pool parties and getting changed after a successful swimming lesson.

I loved that the adult characters in the story don’t pressure Lottie to swim, and that it’s her friendship with Walter that finally enables her to conquer her fear. Lottie and Walter reminds kids that it’s okay to be afraid, and that there are ways we can overcome our fears. It’s going straight on my list of contenders for Top Picture Books 2019.

Parents and teachers will be pleased to find that Penguin has a Lottie and Walter downloadable activity pack available. There’s also a gorgeous Youtube trailer you can show your kids to whet their appetites for this excellent children’s picture book, embedded below.

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