Thursday, 1 October 2015

A Dublin Fairytale by Nicola Colton

I got a lump in my throat when I took this book out of the envelope - it is BEAUTIFUL! And even though I had absolutely nothing to do with its production, I felt so proud. It's a stunning, Irish picture book. If I don't see it on the Late Late Toy Show this year, I will explode.

My kids are familiar with the landmarks of Paris (Adele and Simon), London, (A Walk in London), Boston(Make Way For Ducklings),  New York (Little Boy BrownThe Walk), Rome, (Dodsworth in Rome) and even Tokyo(Dodsworth in Tokyo). If we ever actually travel together to these cities, seeing them in real life will be extra special. But Dublin, their home, is probably not so well known. It's "town", where we go to watch the St Patrick's Day parade and have a shamrock shake, where we take them to Yamamori for lunch once every blue moon and where I disappear to on Sundays to meet my friends. 

Now though, we're going to do A Dublin Fairytale tour  - I mean its not so bad when a five year old asks if The Spire "is actually a real thing?", but when a ten year old says "and the Ha'penny Bridge? That's real too?", I feel ashamed. 

It will be quite a walk, our youngest will need his scooter, as Fiona covers a fair bit of ground. Fiona is our heroine. She needs to travel from her home to the Witches' Market and then to Granny's house, all by herself.

This journey takes her across St Stephens Green,

past Trinity College,

across the Ha'penny Bridge, 

and up Moore Street. 

The illustrations in this book are really wonderful.  Apart from their absolute loveliness, they're full of interesting details for kids to find and the colours are sublime. The paper is thick and expensive feeling and the endpapers (my computer does not recognise that word, no doubt I have it wrong) but anyways, look at them below. They're fabulous! We've read the book about five times now and I'm still finding more doorways, and pixies and wolves and ducks and magic. I love it, and more importantly, my kids do too. The youngest just enjoyed it the way a really good picture book is enjoyed, poring over the pages and giggling and predicting and his elder brothers were delighted (and amazed) to see Dublin, in a kids book.  Also, I should mention that its a good one too for beginning readers, there's plenty of word repetition and the font is on the bigger side.

 For boys and girls aged two to six. 

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