Monday, May 24, 2010

Miss Lily's fabulous pink feather boa by Margaret Wild

There are some picture books that are meant to be shared and treasured and I really think Miss Lily's fabulous pink feather boa fits this category.

The Last Potoroo is in need of a holiday so she travels to the far north of Australia where the hibiscus flowers are as large as dinner plates. She climbs the stairs to Miss Lily's holiday house, suitcase in hand. What a shock! Miss Lily is a crocodile. Luckily she only eats fish and has a very small appetite. Each evening Miss Lily dances with a splendid pink feather boa. The Last Potoroo falls in love with these magical moments and when she catches the boa at the end of the performance she feels she can do anything and everything.

In a moment of weakness (one I think we can all relate to) the Last Poteroo goes into Miss Lily's room one afternoon and when she sees a little pair of scissors on the dresser she cuts a tiny piece from the boa. When I read this part you can hear the children gasp at the enormity of this crime. The Last Poteroo is in such despair over her wickedness she buries the piece of boa but her guilt leaves her with terrible nightmares.

This is a story of friendship and redemption. Miss Lily does forgive The Last Potoroo and Margaret Wild is such a marvellous story teller this important scene is not laboured instead it is handled with gentleness and warmth.

If you have a picture book collection then this book is an essential purchase. We are reading books this term about friendship and I always include Miss Lilly's fabulous pink feather boa when we do this. Other favourites are A Friend Like Ed by Karen Wagner, Suzie and Alfred in a welcome for Annie by Helen Craig and Henry and Amy by Stephen Michael King.

By the way a potoroo is a endangered Australian animal but our little character discovers she is not really the last one left. It is also good to read this book with a feather boa around your shoulders.

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