Jonadab and Rita
Published by: The Bodley Head an imprint of Random House 2009
Ages: 3 – 6 years
Themes: Friendship, Fairy-tale, appreciation, loss.
Opening Lines: Once there was a girl called Minnie who lived in a large, beautiful apartment in Notting Hill, London. Her mother and father went off to work each day very early and did not return until late at night.
Synopsis: A bit old and a bit shabby, Jonadab is a donkey, just one of the many toys in Minnie’s toy box. Both he and his timid friend, the toy mouse Rita, are largely overlooked as Minnie plays with other, newer toys. But Jonadab is no ordinary toy. He can fly. Ignored for too long, Jonadab flies off and plays with the fairies in the park but what happens when he wants to return? Can Rita help? Will Minnie realise they are missing and how does she find them? Well you will have to read it for yourself. A magical story of friendship between two toys and will Minnie learn the value of the toy she has lost.
Why I like this: This gorgeous book of colourful illustrations has more text than most picture books. At first glance one would think of Madagascar with the cute old, worn, flying donkey and his friend the mouse. But theirs is a magical adventure, and the story shows us that trusted old friends are the best kind. It’s true the old saying “you never realised how good it was, till it is gone.” Shirley reals us in with her life-like artwork. Her delicate, fine detail along with a touch of old world charm are a delicious treat to the eye. A world-renowned and loved writer, she received an OBE in 1999, won two Kate Greenaway Awards and countless others, having written and illustrated over fifty books as well as illustrated another two hundred for other writers, she has sold over eleven million copies. A great advocate for children’s writing especially picture books, I was delighted to come across this link of a meeting with Shirley, giving us a lovely insight into her life, this woman has a great sense of humour, and I can only wish I had been there too. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3559843/Shirley-Hughes-conjuring-up-halcyon-days-of-childhood.html
Resources/Findings: While I could not find any specific resources for this particular book, there are Shirley Hughes resources for another book of hers called Dogger which could very easily be adapted for this story….. http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/library/books/dogger.htm
Maybe a day of learning to draw….. http://www.howtodrawanimals.net/how-to-draw-a-donkey
Here is also a great way for children to help other kids, to donate those toys which you have grown out of, start a collection at school or home to send…. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spread-the-joy-donate-a-soft-toy/295585317219013
There are many other organisations where a collection of soft toys would be welcome for children less fortunate, not just at Christmas time, but any time of year.
For more books with resources please head on over and visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors.