Gillie Can Share by Sarah-leigh Wills
|Gillie Can Share by Sarah-leigh Wills|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Gillie the rabbit has been baking cookies with Daddy and now she's going to share them with the people in her life. A delightful, brilliantly-illustrated and gently educational story for toddlers. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 24||Date: February 2018|
|External links: Author's website|
Gillie the rabbit is baking cookies with Daddy. We might think they look most appetising (they're shaped liked carrots and rabbits, you know) but Gillie is really taken by the way that they smell. Lips are being licked. Does she dive in and eat them? No, she doesn't There are eight cookies. Two - a carrot and a rabbit - are for Grandma and Gillie hops off to deliver them. Another two are for Grandpa and then there are two for Mummy. Now there are just two left and Daddy gives them to Gillie, but Gillie is a kind, generous and thoughtful rabbit and whilst she eats one cookie, a rather scrumptious-looking rabbit is offered to the reader. I wanted to hug her!
Oh, but there is so much to love about this book. I thought it was wonderful that Gillie was baking cookies with Daddy, rather than the more usual Mummy. There's no gender stereotyping here. I grinned when the first of the cookes to be delivered went to the grandparents: they're getting older, but they're obviously still a valued part of the family. Then there's the offer of the last cookie to the reader - I thought that was a lovely touch! There's so much to discuss here about family relationships, the value of having a generous heart and being considerate to others. It's gently educational about sharing, but it's done very subtly and there isn't even the slightest hint of any preaching.
Sarah-leigh Wills hasn't just written the story - she's also the illustrator. We've been delighted by her illustrations before, but I think she's excelled herself in Gillie Can Share. The people (well, rabbits, but I'm sure that you know what I mean) look as though they're felt collage. Look at the exquisite stitching around the edges! You'd think it would be impossible to get a range of facial expressions, but Wills does it well. I loved Gillie's face when she was smelling the cookie and longing to eat one. Wills is a master of texture too - I wanted to eat a cookie myself because they looked so real!
Most picture books for the toddler age group rely on simple pictures with as little as possible to distract from the main point but Wills has achieved a delicate balance. You'll readily grasp the main point of the story from the pictures, but each time that you read through you'll find something else that you didn't spot before. Watch out for the frog, the worm, the snail, the butterfly and the bee when Gillie's outside. Sometimes they're a little bit hidden, but that adds to the fun.
It's a delight of a book and an added bonus is that it's the first in a planned series. I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For more rabbits we can recommend The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett.
You can read more about Sarah-leigh Wills here.
You can read more book reviews or buy Gillie Can Share by Sarah-leigh Wills at Amazon.com.
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