Young Christopher Nibble loves nothing more than eating dandelion leaves. His predilection however, is shared by all the other guinea pig residents of Dandeville. But one day – horror of horrors – this favourite fare all but disappears, the final few leaves being auctioned for vast sums on the Internet. Christopher though, knows of the whereabouts of a sole remaining dandelion plant and, having swotted up on relevant information, he sets about nurturing this plant to fruiting stage. Then, with a huff and a puff he blows the seeds from the top of Daisy Chain Hill all over the countryside and before long, the blissful munching of dandelion leaves once more fills the air.
The straightforward telling of the story – a gentle reminder of the danger of the over exploitation of the earth’s resources – is a nice counterpoint to the plethora of visual and verbal details in the pictures. Middleton’s multi-layered collage illustrations are built up using cut up patterned paper, fabric, fur and photos as well as paint and pen. If you read this aloud to groups of children (and it does read aloud well), make sure they have the opportunity to enjoy the details in the artwork.