Polly's Picnic

Polly's Picnic

by Richard Hamilton, Sophy Williams
     
 

Polly's picnic is ruined when some uninvited guests greedily consume the goodies:in fact, the whole basket:she's prepared for her riverside feast! Some ducks, a fox, two cats, and a horse eat the lot, and when a goat wanders by, he exclaims that the empty basket is a perfect snack for him. When Polly complains that her picnic's all gone, the animals rally

Overview

Polly's picnic is ruined when some uninvited guests greedily consume the goodies:in fact, the whole basket:she's prepared for her riverside feast! Some ducks, a fox, two cats, and a horse eat the lot, and when a goat wanders by, he exclaims that the empty basket is a perfect snack for him. When Polly complains that her picnic's all gone, the animals rally around and, with the help of Polly's mother, re-create a wonderful spread, making Polly very happy for not only the food, but the company too. With lush pastel illustrations perfect for summer, award-winning artist Sophy Williams creates a delicious environment for picnic time or for anytime!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A field of soft, impressionistic wildflowers on spring green endpapers sets the tone for this lightweight but invitingly illustrated tale. Wicker basket in hand, cherubic-looking Polly sets off to the river for a summer feast, but when she dozes off, "Quack-Quack!/ Attack!/ Some ducks stole her snack/ and gobbled it up/ in midstream!" One by one, her treats are devoured by a parade of hungry critters. Mr. Fox takes her sandwiches, a pair of cats drink her milk, a horse gobbles up her pear and a goat eats the basket. In the end, the repentant animals set things to right by whipping up a new meal ("Then they measured, mixed and baked/ biscuits, sandwiches, sausages, cakes") that they can all enjoy together. Hamilton's (Violet and the Mean and Rotten Pirates) rhymes and story line seem forced at times (e.g., a swan chastises some ducks with "You should be ashamed-/ Polly's upset/ because of your greed./ You must put this right/ with all possible speed"). Fortunately, Williams's (Starry Tales) idyllic, mostly full-bleed illustrations wring gentle humor from the story's premise (the horse clutching a spoon in his teeth as he mixes up a bowl of something in the kitchen is a particular delight). The soft focus and velvety texture conjure a picture-perfect summer's day. Ages 3-7. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Polly sets off to picnic by the river in the bright sunshine. But first rude ducks steal her snack, then Mr. Fox eats all her sandwiches. She no sooner pours some milk than two cats drink it up. Then a horse, when offered a bite of her pear, eats it all. When a goat finishes off her basket, Polly is very upset about her ruined picnic. Shamed by a passing swan, however, the animals go to her house, make biscuits, sandwiches, sausages, and cakes, and bring them back to her with an apology. All share "the best picnic" ever. The story demands suspension of belief in reality along with accepting an attempt at rhyme that doesn't always work. But the message of sharing is clear. There is a mystic quality to the double-page scenes, naturalistic but fuzzy as the pastels stroke the pages. This is nature at its most attractive: the greens of early summer, cattails by the stream, a cast of benign animals, an unidentified older woman, all lit by the golden light of the sun. Williams makes us believe it could really happen. 2003, Bloomsbury Children's Books,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1-Polly wants only to enjoy a pleasant picnic by the river, but greedy animals have other ideas. One by one, they find each piece of food so delightful that they grab not just a bite, but everything, including the basket. Finally, the creatures examine their rude behavior and find a unique solution to replace Polly's picnic and reward her sharing-each one contributes to the preparation of a small feast. "`There's Polly's house,' the two cats cried./They found the door and burst inside./Then they measured,/mixed and baked/biscuits, sandwiches,/sausages, cakes." Williams's art reveals Polly through a haze of soft pastels, and soothing impressionistic backgrounds on full-page art neatly coincide with dialogue and narration for the fluid development of the child's tale. The single jarring note in this lovely book is the inexplicable introduction of an adult (her mother?) in the pictures without a textual reference. Despite that, the art in this book is a shared treasure for young and old.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582348193
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
06/01/2003
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.28(w) x 9.96(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Richard Hamilton is the author of a number of books for children, including Violet and the Mean and Rotten Pirates. He lives in England.

Sophy Williams's first illustrated book, When Grandma Came, was runner up for the Mother Goose Award. She lives in England.

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