Edward and the Great Discovery by Rebecca McRitchie and Celeste Hulme
New Frontier Publishing RRP: $24.99
I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I’m a little challenged where artistic endeavours are concerned. Let’s just say you don’t want me on your team for Pictionary. So I always admire the illustrations in the many beautiful kids’ books I’m lucky enough to review. BUT this one was particularly appealing. Illustrator Celeste Hulme has swapped the typical bright, bold primaries for muted, vintage hues that set the scene perfectly in this book about archaeologists, antiquities and eggs.
Young Edward was born into a long line of archaeologists: Mum, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa- they’ve all made very important discoveries. But no matter how many times Edward digs up the backyard, he never seems to find anything interesting. One particularly wet and muddy night, Edward discovers an egg. He excavates it with professional skill, takes it inside, keeps it warm and loves it. At last the egg cracks and out pops a bird! Except, it’s not an ordinary bird – it’s a big, funny looking one that can’t fly. Edward thinks his only worthwhile discovery is broken, until he finds a book about dodos! Maybe Edward’s new friend is not broken, but an extra special kind of treasure after all?
Edward’s adventures take place in sprawling, manicured gardens, a towering library and a dusty museum full of bones and antique whatnots. Having spent a fair bit of time in such places myself, I was lost in these illustrations. Edward never looks lost (he’s right at home amongst the dinosaurs) but he does look a little lonely. His new dodo friend seems like the first company he’s had in awhile! Maybe that’s the price you pay for super high achieving parents? (Luckily my kids won’t have that problem…)
Just like his parents, Edward is always prepared should an opportunity to dig present itself. At the end of the book, readers can inspect Edward’s archaeology kit, including maps, brushes and trowels, a drink bottle (for thirsty work) and a sandwich (for energy). Be prepared for a few holes in the backyard if your kids choose to put their own discovery tool box together!
With thanks to New Frontier for my review copy.