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This issue’s cover is from a stunning new picture book, Mary’s Secret by David McKee (Andersen Press, 0 86264 909 9, £9.99). An ecological fable about doing without cars, McKee’s story with its bright pictures full of well observed detail is set within Mary’s cheerful family and at her school. His bold, painterly illustrations use the page so confidently and dextrously that their quirky, decorative perspectives seem entirely natural. Thanks to Andersen Press for their help in producing this September cover.
One of a number of similar titles by the same pair, this delightful book will keep young children amused for hours, as they explore the fascinating world of gnomes, mermaids, fairies and genies. Each double spread, some given extra width with half page flaps, sets children, and their parents, the task of picking a route through paths, over bridges, up ladders, down steps, across walkways and even along waterways. The mission may be to find a way to the fairy dance avoiding all the Bogy spirits, to retrieve a pair of shoes made by a leprechaun or to collect a beaker before taking part in an evening feast for trolls. The artwork, though somewhat old fashioned, is brightly painted and instantly attractive to youngsters from pre-school age upwards. Solutions are printed at the back, together with an explanation of the various magical creatures contained in the mazes.