Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wishbone by Janeen Brian illustrated by Kilmeny Niland

There is a little book in our library called Green Fingers by Emily Rodda from the Solo series.  The premise is that if you plant something - anything - it will grow.  So the boy in this story plants parts of a bicycle and yes!  he grows a bicycle.

In this book Wishbone, Henry is desperate for a dog.  This is something I really identify with.  All through primary school I wished desperately for a dog and then in Year 7 I got one - a beautiful Labrador crossed with Border Collie called Charlie. He was smart and handsome and my very best friend.

Living next door to Henry is a dog called Wagger.  Wagger belongs to Mr Perry and while Wagger is fun to play with Henry really wants a dog of his very own.  Then one day Wagger gives Henry a special bone. Henry plants the bone beside his mother's bean seeds and each day he waters his bone and waits.  The beans grow up big and strong but no dog comes.  "Days passed and the bean plants great tall and green and rambly.  But the place where Henry had planted the bone stayed brown and bare.  Then one morning Henry heard a small excited bark ..."

When I sat down to blog this book tonight I had a lovely surprise because I had not realized the illustrator was Kilmeny Niland.  I went to a tribute exhibition of her work earlier this year. Sadly she died in 2009.

It is fun to read books about dogs and we have so many in our library.  Among my favourite picture books are Cannonball Simp by John Burningham, Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, Francie's Paper Puppy by Achim Broger and Let's get a pup by Bob Graham.  I know Wishbone is the perfect addition to this collection and I will add it as another one to read aloud.  I also collect toys so I have all the special dog characters like Kipper, Clifford and Spot.

You can take a look inside this book here and a review worth reading too.

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