THE UNDERWATER FANCY-DRESS PARADE | BOOK REVIEW

THE UNDERWATER FANCY-DRESS PARADE is sensitive and quaint, simple and highly effective children’s book that in few words and with sensitivity looks into children’s anxiety. Not all children grow up to be perfect in every way, not all children can win the race or get 100% in an exam – failure can mean anxiety. We are all affected by anxiety, and through this beautifully illustrated children’s book it explains to children and parents that that is okay. THE UNDERWATER FANCY-DRESS PARADE is out now from Scribe Publications, it is available from all good bookstores or you can buy it from the Scribe. It is penned by Davina Bell with illustrations from Allison Colpoys and reads for a hardcover 32pages. All the best………….JK.

 

THE UNDERWATER FANCY-DRESS PARADE BOOK COVER IMAGE
THE UNDERWATER FANCY-DRESS PARADE | SALTY POPCORN BOOK REVIEW | BOOK COVER IMAGE

 

BY JOSH BROWNE

A magnificently written and beautifully illustrated book which will help parents to teach children anything is possible and will captivate the little ones with its tale and engagingly beautiful artwork. THE UNDERWATER FANCY-DRESS PARADE was written by Davina Bell and illustrated by Allison Colpoys. Bell is an accomplished law graduate who mixed it up and then went into writing and editing at RMIT, she has an award winning short story and was an Editor and Senior Editor in Penguin’s Young Readers department where she embraced and immersed herself in young children’s writing with many collaborations with the best in the business.

Allison Colpoys is a freelance book designer, illustrator and general artiste. Her book designs are extensive and stunning and have a flair for simplistic and bold, colourful and quirky, she has worked for Penguin Books Australia in the past, has a nice collection of awards including Young Designer of the Year from 2009. The collaboration of Bell and Colpoys was meant to happen!

The story takes us on Alfie’s journey and his anxiety surrounding trials in his life in a very sensitive manner. Little Alfie hasn’t done well in running and had in fact come last and now he has a fancy dress parade to attend, which makes him worried. For this isn’t any fancy dress parade it’s an underwater fancy dress parade and he was going to go as Captain Starfish.

Like all great events Alfie had a dress rehearsal in which he practised wearing his costume and visualised himself in the school hall, the whole time though Alfie had to convince himself he was brave enough to do it…to be Captain Starfish.

You see poor Alfie got really anxious before any big event, in fact last time he was due to attend a dress up party he got so anxious he asked his mum to turn the car around and he hid the present he was going to give the party’s host. But he hadn’t hidden it that well and sometimes he saw the discarded present and that sinking feeling crept over Alfie again.

 

THE UNDERWATER FANCY-DRESS PARADE BOOK IMAGE
THE UNDERWATER FANCY-DRESS PARADE | SALTY POPCORN BOOK REVIEW | IMAGE FROM THE BOOK

 

A few nights before the big event he dreamt a lot, but they weren’t nice dreams. He dreamt about a big angry octopus a hissing sea snake and even a pufferfish trapped in a bubble. Alfie woke up frightened in the middle of the night and his tummy hurt, “I’m not brave enough to be Captain Starfish” he whispered to the cowboys on his wallpaper.

This made Alfie even more anxious so much so the next morning he told his mum he couldn’t go to the parade. He thought his mum would be angry, but she wasn’t at all, instead she took him somewhere special. Somewhere beautiful in fact, to the aquarium where Alfie could see for himself all the majesty of the sea creatures , he even saw a starfish, all blue and white and perfect, like his costume. But Alfie looked down at his sneakers and suddenly felt all the weight of the world.

Just then a little fish popped out that reminded Alfie of a butterfly, it was gorgeous and it swam right up to Alfie and whispered hello, then it swam back and hid in the coral forest. Alfie waited but it didn’t come out again. The entire trip home in the bus he thought about the orange fish. It was a clown fish his mum told him. “Why was he hiding?” he asked, “Sometimes they just need to hide away, it’s just what they do” said his mum. And Alfie understood.

If you want to know more you’ll have to read this beautiful book for yourself and see what it is that helps Alfie be brave and face the world. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and know you and your kids will too.

 

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