Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Review: Kimmy the Koala Helps the Honey Bees in Summertown Wood by Graham Swan

by Graham Swan
Picture Book
Clink Street Publishing
ages 4 and up

This is the story of Kimmy the Koala helping the honey bees in Summertown Wood.

Purchase from Amazon UK 


Kimmy the Koala is a sweet koala bear, who explores the question of how honey is produced with the help of many friends.

The book starts out with a full map of Summertown Wood, displaying the variety of Kimmy's friends that live there and how full of life Summertown Wood is. From there, the story takes off as Kimmy wonders how honey is made and heads off on an exploration, which involves her friends of the woods on every two-page spread. By the end, kids will have a basic idea of where honey comes from and what it takes for bees to do their job. But this isn't a learning book only. Kimmy tackles this task in the bounds of a gentle adventure to keep the topic from becoming dry.

The illustrations are made with personal love and don't have that commercial touch often seen in children books. They follow the story, but at the same time, let the introduction of each new friend come to life in a way the text does not. The characters aren't created according to perfection, and some are cuter for it. It's the illustrations which add the needed entertainment to the rest of the tale and insure that a little light-heartedness flows in to keep it from becoming too monotone. 

The text is simple enough for kids to follow and keeps the tale clear. Sometimes, the lines are missing clearer division between characters. Still, as a read-aloud, it works. There are a large variety of animals introduced in this book, so there's something for every young reader. But the large amount can also make the story a little overwhelming at times as it zings from one to the next. Often, only the name of the character is mentioned, and it would have been helpful to have the type of animal included, since there is such a quick change and large variety of animals. It's an easy tale and won't be for everyone, but those who enjoy picture books with a more 'personal touch' will like diving into these pages.

And here he is. . .

Graham Swan has worked as a graphic designer in the UK and is currently a college lecturer in Fife, Scotland. He currently lives in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. This is his first published book.

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