Monday, 8 October 2012

I Love to Sing by Anna Walker

I Love to Sing is a wonderful introduction to Ollie, his little dog Fred and the cheery calm of Anna Walker's children's books. Her whimsical illustrations are a joy to behold and they bring Ollie and Fred to life without fuss or distraction. 

Ollie is one of those great characters that doesn't fit into any particular mold. He's kind of a zebra come rabbit that walks on two legs, has a soft sweet smile and like most children, loves to sing. He sings while sitting on the stairs with Fred, he sings in the park and he even sings in the bath while drinking a cup of tea. E finds this scene particularly hilarious and it's normally cause for a lot of shouting and pointing as he exclaims, 'teapot in the bath ... look, teapot in the bath mommy!'. 

Ollie's joy from singing in all sorts of places is the narrative thread that gives the story its flow. The text is refreshingly sparse and tinkles along with a gentle rhyme. The book is laid out in a series of scenes and ends with Ollie declaring that his most favorite place to sing is in his bed with Fred. It's a very handy ending for a bedtime story and the other books we have about Ollie follow the same pattern. 

I'm somewhat new to Anna Walker's work and was pleasantly surprised to find a whole treasure trove of books, illustrations and information on her website. The other stories about Ollie and Fred are part of the I Love series and include titles like: I Love Christmas, I Love Birthdays and I Love to Dance. I encourage you to get to know Ollie and maybe meet some of her other characters too: