Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Visit to City Farm by Verna Wilkins and Karin Littlewood (Firetree Books)

If there's one thing children love to see more than anything else in a picture book, it's actually themselves...
Or at least a recognisable facsimile they can immediately associate themselves with. In "A Visit to City Farm" the children of Chalkhill Primary School in Wembley have worked together with Verna Wilkins, Karin Littlewood and FireTree Books to serve up a gorgeous little slice of picture book heaven that must've tickled the kids to bits when they first saw the completed copies.

In the book, the children of Rainbow Class are going on an exciting visit to the City Farm.

When I was a kid myself growing up in London, the City Farm at Vauxhall was one of the most amazing and exciting places you could possibly visit. Growing up in a huge urban sprawl, any green space was somehow made more magical and more wondrous but any green space with animals - animals you'd never see anywhere else at that - was the best place in the world.

Rainbow Class have an exciting journey, walking very carefully along the main road before descending into the London Underground to be whisked away on a tube train to their amazing destination.

Once there, Rainbow Class can't wait to meet the animals, help feed them and help learn all about them too.

The book's gentle and reassuring storyline is beautifully paced for reception-aged kids and above, and the illustrations are full of energy and diversity - just as you'd imagine Chalkhill School itself is.

Returning to the very first paragraph of the review, it's so good to see books like this that (today of all days) celebrate diversity and conservation, and those glorious moments of just taking time away from the hustle and bustle of modern city life to enjoy the beauty of nature.

I can see this book being hugely popular for school storytimes and for a snuggly bedtime read at home too.

Perfect for your little animal fans. "A Visit to City Farm" by Verna Wilkins and Karin Littlewood is out now, published by Firetree Books (kindly sent for review).