Saturday 16 July 2022


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A Perfect Wonderful Day with Friends by Philip Waechter   {Reviewed by STELLA}
In need of a sweet and cheering book? Look no further than A Perfect Wonderful Day with Friends. This delightful book by Philip Waechter is a perfect antidote to our grey skies and rainy days. Raccoon is bored — an exciting book isn’t doing the trick nor some jumping exercises (even though he looks very flexible). And then he has an idea — he’ll bake an apple cake — perfect. But he has no eggs! A quick visit to Fox is on the cards. Fox has hens, so Fox will have eggs. But Fox is busy trying to fix a leak and can’t reach high enough. A ladder is needed! Raccoon knows who will have one. Badger has everything! (When you get to Badger’s house have a look around his sitting room — what a lot of enticing things). Badger is busy with a crossword puzzle and they need someone brainy help. Who to turn to? Bear, of course. Off they go, Raccoon, Fox and Badger, walking together, enjoying the sunny day and the blackberries en route. When they get to the woods, Bear isn’t home, but Crow knows where she is. To the river they all go, to find Bear waiting for the fish to bite. Yet patience isn’t high on the agenda, and it’s hot. Fox thinks she can catch a fish — alas no, but a swim with friends is even better. Suffice to say the puzzle gets solved, the ladder retrieved, the eggs taken home and the cake is baked. Enough for all! I love this semi-circular domino-style storytelling — where one action leads to another and builds a community of characters and interactions. This is doubly good in A Perfect Wonderful Day with Friends because the outcomes are always positive — the solutions to problems are simply resolved through cooperation and goodwill. Charmingly written, this is a good read-aloud with its repetitive structure and snippets of humour and the right amount of text to keep young ones engaged. The beautiful illustrations make it a joy to look at and the more looking you do, the more you will see. In the best tradition of picture books, the pictures and words complement each other perfectly. Waechter’s drawings are delicate and precise (he’s a fan of Jean-Jacques Sempé), capturing the scenes with quiet detail while simultaneously evoking the individuality of his characters with wit and emotive quirks. It’s an evocative style that enriches the story, capturing the wonderfulness of this perfect day with friends. 

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