Imagine by Alison Lester is one of our favourite stories, and it allows so much variation in the way it can be read that it lends itself to being picked up at any excuse.
The story follows two children (boy & girl) as they play different adventuring scenarios, with a call for the reader to join in on their imaginary play.
Each scenario is two double pages, the first sets the scene…
With simple text, where you can really feel yourself falling into your imagination…
if we were
away on safari
where crocodiles lurk
and antelope feed
where leopards attack
and zebras stampede
While on the opposite page the children are acting out their imaginative story…
THEN… you turn the page to this amazing double spread of exciting adventure. The illustrations are beautiful, and detailed. Around the edge, forming a border, are names of all the things you can find in the picture.
This lends itself to being a quick bedtime read, where you read the story, turn the page, point out one creature and turn the page…or you can take your time and really explore each world, discussing your young readers imagination, and what things they would like to see.
At the back of the book is a great series of “key” pictures, that list all the creatures, and their positions on the page, which has been invaluable for the dinosaur page. We might be a little obsessed with the dinosaur page.
Which brings me to my warning, and raises a strange issue…the realism in the dinosaur adventure. I do admit, *I* am not used to seeing dinosaurs trying to eat each other. Yet, Miss 2.5 seems quite accepting of this, with no concern. She plays games where she tries to gobble you up (as learnt in Little Red Riding Hood), and now where she eats you up, because she’s a scary dinosaur. However, I would recommend approaching this openly, and it may depend on your child’s exposure to violence or pain (mine is pretty innocent of such things).
Yet, we go from dinosaurs eating/kissing each other, to Australia…the land that has the MOST things that will try and kill you, but according to this, is a pretty cool petting zoo. Not a single snake or spider to be seen (although there is a Tasmanian Devil). This amuses me endlessly.
The wonderful places you get to visit are:
- A Jungle
- An Ocean (and I struggle to say anemones every, single, time)
- The Arctic icecap
- The country
- A Prehistoric land
- An African Safari
I can’t recommend this book highly enough, it’s such a wonderful story, and creates so many fantastic talking points. You can spend so long discussing different aspects, from counting chickens, to spot the spider, every time we read Imagine we find something new to talk about.
Something for everyone.