Anemone is Not the Enemy (Anna McGregor, Scribble)
Everybody needs a special friend—one they can rely on, one who’s there for them—but Anemone is lonely and finding it very difficult. The problem is he accidentally stings everybody who comes near him in the rock pool where he lives. Every time the tide comes in Anemone hopes a friend will come with it, but whoever they are, another sting sends them away. This is, at first glance, a very simple, quite quirky and humorous picture book, with minimal text and appealing, colourful, digitally produced illustrations. But it is also a fascinating introduction to life in a rock pool: who lives there, who visits when the tide comes in, who is stung by the anemone and who it can form a symbiotic relationship with. The facts on the last page describe Anemone’s special friend, a creature that is immune to his poisonous tentacles. Families who like to explore rock pools at the beach together will especially relate to this book and will perhaps even use it as a reference for identifying the creatures who live there or visit during high tide. Anemone is Not the Enemy is recommended for bedtime reading and for families to share after a day at the beach.
Margaret Hamilton AM is a former children’s book publisher, and is now proprietor of Pinerolo, the Children’s Book Cottage in Blackheath, NSW.