Saturday, 20 October 2012

Rosie's Magic Horse by Russell Hoban & Quentin Blake (Children's, Picture book, 8/10)

4th October 2012, Walker Books
40 pages, Hardback
Review copy

Themes: Ice lollies, imagination, lots of humour, travelling the world, helping family, financial issues

Summary from Walker Books

This story begins with an ice-lolly stick. Its sweetness gone, it lies discarded and lonely … until a little girl called Rosie comes along. She places it carefully in her cigar box, full of other sticks. “Without our ice-lollies we are nothing,” says an old stick. But new stick wants to BE something and into the minds of all the old sticks, he plants dreams … maybe they can be something, too. What about Rosie and her dreams that night? She dreams of helping her parents pay the bills. And so, at the stroke of midnight, magic and dreams collide and a HORSE gallops out of the cigar box! His name is Stickerino. “Where to?” he asks Rosie. “Anywhere with treasure!” she answers and hops on its back. Then begins an adventure like no other … ice-lolly mountains by the sea, caskets of gold, and pirates foiled by a stickling ice-cream van…

Nayuleska's thoughts

The colours used in this story match the concept of a child's imagination. All the faces on the lolly sticks made me laugh a lot. When they are defending Rosie against an enemy, I could almost hear them saying 'take that!' 'you will lose against us!'

There were a few elements in this 8/10 read which didn't work for me. I was intrigued why Rosie collected lolly sticks but that never got explained. Also the end seemed too sudden & perfect: previous stories I've read that are similar have something else happen making the end more believable and final, rather than being up in the air. The rest of the book is ace.

You can find out more on Quentin's website. Russell died in 2011.

Suggested read

If it's more travelling you're after try Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson

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