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Good Night Ivy Bright - Book Review

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by May Cross (subscribe)
I'm a writer, artist and keen photographer.
Published July 22nd 2021
Dream big, little one
Join Ivy on her wonderful journey through her colourful imagination. Goodnight, Ivy Bright's plot and pretty pictures are painted with playfulness. This truly beautiful and imaginative book appeals to the artist and the child in me and will appeal to parents and teachers as well as the kids. I also love the rhyme, rhythm and language in this special children's book:

She found her favourite paintbrush

and began to set the scene

she twinkled blue and yellow stars

then sailed a sea of green.

There is a lovely and timely dedication from the illustrator Andrew Plant: "To the children of 2020 who discovered that nothing could lock down their dreams." Andrew has used stamps and stencils in his paintings to give a vintage and dreamy feel. Ivy knows about the primary colours of red, yellow and blue and learns along the way about mixing colours such as blue and yellow make green, but she is stumped on how to make purple. The story shows that it is possible to make all the other colours of the rainbow with the three primary colours, plus what adding black or white can do. A picturesque art lesson. Andrew pays homage to one of my favourite artists, Japanese ukiyo-e genre artist Hokusai, famous for his woodblock print The Great Wave from the 1800s. I'm sure there are references to other artists to be discovered and the kids will love finding all the hidden exotic animals and secret sea creatures.

goodnight ivy bright, the wave picturebook, ford, ben long, andrew plant
Homage to The Wave print (May Cross)

The book presents Ivy's imaginary world and encourages the reader to examine the difference between what is imaginative or make-believe versus the real or informative world. Emotions are also explored:

Ivy slumped beside the moose

And huffed a troubled sigh.

Ivy is tired and frustrated but seeks help from the friendly animal.

The picture book is suitable for children aged from four to eight years old. Teachers can check out Ford Street Publishing for helpful teachers notes if the book is being used as a resource in the classroom. For example, pupils can create their own anthropomorphic characters (animals that behave like people) just like the unusual moose and whale who are personified talking to Ivy.

goodnight ivy bright, picturebook, ford, ben long, Andrew plant
Ben Long - Author

About the Author
Ben Long started to make up rhyming verses to amuse himself on his boring commute to his science job. We're glad he did. He has a background in music, and this is evident in his stories which are fun to read aloud. He is a Brisbanite who works in schools and uses the arts to try to make maths fun. His other picture books are Jasper Juggles Jellyfish, Ready, Steady, Hatch!, and Higgledee Giggledee.

goodnight ivy bright, picturebook, ford, ben long, andrew plant
Andrew Plant - Illustrator

About the Illustrator
Andrew Plant is an award-winning author and illustrator of picture books for children from preschool to secondary schools. Like me, he is passionate about encouraging kids to love books and reading. He loves stories that are unusual and see the world from a different perspective. He also paints theatre sets and murals. Other titles by Andrew are the Poppy, The Perfect Leaf, and Pippa.

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Why? Beautiful Children's picture book
When: published 2021
Where: book stores and on line
Cost: $16.95-$24.95
Your Comment
This book looks to be truly delightful, May.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|9635) 383 days ago
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