Inspiring Young Readers

posted on 17 Nov 2021

Choices by Roozeboos

My five year old grandson recently received a school award for ‘Making Good Choices’ which I suppose goes to show that this is an a much admired skill that has to be learnt and practised.

This charming picture book has minimal text but plenty to look at in the detailed, colourful pictures by this Dutch illustrator Anne Roos Kleiss aka ‘Roozeboos’, that show a little girl confronted with little and bigger choices. How can she possibly decide which ice–cream to choose from the enticing array? And does she feel confident enough to tackle the intimidating looking water slide?

As a concerned onlooker and notoriously cautious person, I hope not but others would probably disagree!

This difficult choice gives scope for so much discussion – would you like to go up the steep ladder to the top? If not, why not? Does it matter if she chooses not to go on it and what might she do instead? This is an unresolved dilemma until later in the story.

These illustrations impressed me for other reasons beyond the distinctive and quirky style.  I'm always on the look-out for more tattooed adults in picture books - this is now such a mainstream look but still oddly neglected by most children's book illustrators. So I was pleased to see that she is talking to a family that includes a wheelchair-using young woman with several tattoos and multi – coloured hair!

Perhaps the little girl wants to stand out from the crowd sometimes but at other times simply wants to join in and do the same as everyone else and we're clearly being invited to thik about whether it really matters? There are times when it is probably best to be very cautious and careful and there will be other times when relaxing and just having fun is the priority.  

The big slide question is one that takes a lot of thinking about, but eventually she makes her choice and is happy with it:

‘Life is full of choices …

and with every choice you grow’!

I enjoyed the simplicity of the text and the way in which the reader can follow the many different characters throughout the story without the need for exposition. A picture book that encourages the reader to contribute their own interpretations is always a winner for me.

This is another excellent picture book from Childs Play (International) Publishers) who never disappoint.

 Strongly recommended.    


Karen Argent

November 2021