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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Look! Said The Little Girl by Tania Norfolk

A man and a little girl share their unique way of seeing and hearing the world around them.

“Look,” said the little girl, “a ladybird!” “A ladybird!” said the old man. “What does she look like?” “Like a tiny turtle in fancy dress – a red polka-dot coat that’s hiding a secret.” “Wings?” whispered the old man. “Yes, wings,” whispered the little girl. “That is a very good secret.”

As they walk, a young girl describes the things she sees to an elderly, visually impaired man, who turns the tables when he describes to the child what it is that he hears.

Author Tania Norfolk uses evocative, imaginative language to make this story about friendship, self-expression and appreciating differences sing.

The writing is poetic, but not cliched, with fresh similes captivating all the senses. A flower is not simply a flower to the young girl, but a "pom-pom painted in gold, with eye-lashes dipped in white". The old man hears a butterfly as "a velvet flutter...a colourful quiet".

Illustrator Aleksandra Szmidt uses bold colour and patterns to bring the story to life. She injects fun into the artwork with quirky textures and design. A tiny cicada is surrounded by a visual cacophony, echoing its real life sound, while a scarf turns into a twisting, swooping wind. Her illustrations are imaginative and lively.

It will be an asset in a classroom, helping model to our younger writers some fantastic writing conventions and expanding their vocabulary, imagination and creativity. Szmidt's art would also be a great focus for any classroom.

Full of imagination and creativity, Look Said The Little Girl is simply delightful.

Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell Scholastic New Zealand

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