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Where My Wellies TakeMe… (Templar Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press, 2012) is the kind of book publishers don’t really publish much anymore, and when you see it, you’ll wish they did.
Subtitled “A Childhood Scrapbook with Poems and Pictures,” this is the perfect kind of poetry book for people who say they don’t like poems.
Clare and Michael Morpurgo have collected about forty short poems, accessible for kids, and for adults who say they hate verse. Olivia Gill has illustrated and designed the book, which is layered with imagery: pressed flowers, postcards, maps on lift-up flaps.
Giving all of these various bits focus is the character of Pippa. She’s a girl staying with her aunt and exploring the countryside at random, wherever her boots (wellies) will take her. Pippa is a fictional character and her mini-story ties the poems and pictures together.
Where My Wellies Take Me… has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, the UK’s prize for children’s book illustrations. (The winner will be announced in June.)
Not bad considering Wellies is Gill’s first book, and extremely lovely at that.