Today’s book for review is Rosie’s Walk, by Pat Hutchins
Image courtesy of http://www.librarymice.com
Title: Rosie’s Walk
Author & Illustrator: Pat Hutchins
What it’s about: Rosie the hen is stretching her legs around the barnyard. Unknown to her (or does she know?) a sly fox is tracking her, in expectation of a tasty meal. However, the hunt doesn’t go as easily as planned…
Holly’s review: This books is very funny because the fox keeps getting into trouble all the time! The author never says anything about what the fox is doing. The fox is about to do something but then it goes wrong and Rosie gets away. The pictures were very interesting and done in a way you don’t normally come across.
Sam’s review: We got hold of this book because it’s a classic, first published in 1968 I believe. Oddly I hadn’t heard of it until fairly recently even though its status amongst picture books is high. I could see why it is so greatly lauded though – what appears an incredibly simple story and narration has hidden depths and possibilities. As we read through the story, we made all sorts of observations:
- Is the hen totally oblivious to what is going on behind her? Or is she pretending not to realise while leading the fox on a wild goose chase (pardon the pun)? One drawing in particular makes you wonder: a piece of string attached to a hanging bag of flour conveniently wraps itself around Rosie’s leg, leading to a disastrous consequence for the fox.
- The story is always written from Rosie’s point of view. So, basically, it’s describing a walk she takes with no mention whatsoever to the fox behind her. It’s as if it isn’t even there. Which I suppose it isn’t for Rosie!
- Sometimes you can see the disaster coming, sometimes something a little more unexpected happens. This helps keep you guessing.
The drawings are beautiful in this book: full of colour and detail that brings the story to life. They also complement the barnyard setting in autumnal shades: greens, reds, oranges and yellows. And even though the concept is fairly basic: goodie (hen) versus baddie (fox) the way they are drawn does not make such a distinction – the fox isn’t evil-looking. In fact (s)he’s beautiful.
On the OUP website, Pie Corbett recommends this story for its storytelling sharing ideas:
“Rosie’s Walk is a circular story – the story ends where it begins. This is great for early storytelling and writing. Rosie and the fox are archetypal characters (goodie and baddie) which helps children to imagine their own characters when writing. So much isn’t said about the characters, which provides lots of creative opportunities for talking and writing. Rosie’s Walk is one of my favourite stories and children love it!”
and it’s easy to see why.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it?