Jo Loring-Fisher. London: Lantana Publishing, hb 978 1 9113 7308 7, 2020, £11.99, 32pp.
Picture book, fiction, 4-6 years
This book reminds us to take time out of our busy lives to stop and appreciate the beauty and wonder of the world around us. Through the eyes of children from different countries, we travel around the globe and share with them the things that they marvel at and cherish.
Some examples are listening to bird song in India, gathering cherry blossom in Japan, snuggling in a dog’s fur in Alaska, feeling the beat of a pet cat’s fur in the UK, marvelling at snowflakes in Russia and watching a spider build her home in Nepal. We look into the eyes of a loved one in China and imagine the deep sounds of the sea by listening to a conch in Tanzania.
The gentle rhyming couplets and the repetition of “Taking time” help the words to flow and cast their spell. The imaginative illustrations using mixed media, a sensitive use of colour and detail, add depth to the text, complementing it beautifully. I particularly like the idea of gathering all the children together in the final picture:
Taking time to cherish you,
and also cherish me.
This would be a lovely book to share with a multicultural group. The map inside the front cover shows which countries the children come from and readers could add their own countries of origin. Inside the back cover the keepsake quiz is an ideal way of drawing the threads of the book together. I am sure the book would inspire a lively discussion where the children reflected on what is important to them and what their “keepsake” would be. “Taking Time” is a real gem, especially valuable during these current times. By appreciating the small things we can open our minds and be grateful for what we do have, gaining inner peace.
Review by L Giddings