Extraordinary! (Penny Harrison, illus by Katie Wilson, New Frontier)
What a magical book this is! In Extraordinary! Penny Harrison, author of Emily Green’s Garden and Dance With Me, and New Zealand-based illustrator Katie Wilson take the reader on a wonderful journey through all the seemingly ordinary events in life. Reading quietly, flying a kite, observing a full moon or ‘feeling the kiss of a cheeky cool breeze’ are activities adults generally take for granted, yet ones that children are fascinated by. All are depicted within the pages of this picture book, best for children aged three to five. Harrison’s text flows melodically beside Wilson’s illustrations, which are vibrant and rich in detail. Extraordinary! is sure to appeal to any child who loves books and could especially appeal to parents who would like their kids to appreciate more ‘nature time’ as opposed to screen time. This book certainly highlights the benefits of valuing the big things and the little things life has to offer. I hope to see these two artists continue to collaborate in the future; they have created a very special book, one that children will ask to be read time and time again.
Katie Haydon is a former assistant editor of Books+Publishing