Meet ‘Ticky and Tacky and Jackie the Backie and Jim with two noses and Jo with the bow’, the string of paper dolls fashioned by a little girl. Seemingly indestructible, so they think, as they escape from the clutches of a roaring dinosaur, a tiger and a fierce crocodile, hopping and skipping to safety only to be snipped into minute fragments by a scissor-wielding boy. Even then though, they pass into the memory of the little girl as she grows and eventually becomes a mother herself, a mother who helps her own daughter to make a set of jumping, dancing, singing paper dolls.
This is Julia Donaldson in her softer, gentler mode moving in and out of rhyme while always retaining a lyrical style. In Rebecca Cobb’s illustrations reality and fantasy, memory and imagination are intertwined seamlessly through her distinctively childlike style. In particular, the imaginative play of the little girl with her paper dolls is beautifully portrayed.