Title: Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa
Author: Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern
Illustrator: Sophie Norsa
Published: 29th June 2018
Publisher: Little Steps Publishing
Genres: Children – 3 to 6 years
Rating: 4 stars
Charlie is off on the second of his adventures with his family … to South Africa! With his friends, Charlie is set on a discover of different clues to uncover South Africa’s rainbow nation.
Join Charlie and his family on their adventures across the world. Stickers and postcard included.
It’s time to pack your suitcase, collect your boarding ticket and dig out your passport as you join young Charlie, an adventurous young boy, on his latest sojourn to South Africa. Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa, penned by travel enthusiast Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern, is another fun-filled instalment in a series featuring the intrepid Charlie, a wide-eyed boy with a passion for exploring the world. With a previous adventure in Hawaii, this latest story can be read as a standalone. Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa is a picture book is ideally suited to readers aged from 3 to 6 years.
South Africa is just across the ocean from us here in Perth, but it is still a travel destination I am yet to embark on. Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa provided the perfect armchair travel experience. In the comfort of my own home, with my children as companions, minus the airfare, we were able to take a flight over to the rainbow nation. What an abundant experience! My family and I enjoyed this adventure very much and as a result, we have made plans to visit this nation in the not too distant future. This is one infectious read!
As soon as you open Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa, the sense of exploration, curiosity and the anticipation of discovering a whole new world immediately emanates from this appealing picture book. The reader feels like they are Charlie’s extra special travel companion. I loved the safari page, along with the respectful nod to Nelson Mandela and the stunning landscape illustrations that grace the pages of this accessible travel based picture book. Once you book you seat with Charlie on his trip, expect to be dazzled by local sights, learn common greetings, listen to African drumming and watch on in awe as gumboots are adorned with bells. Readers can almost smell the yummy delights offered by the braai and bask in the glory of the magnificent sunsets that colour this embracing nation. It is a momentous experience and I’m glad my family and I were there for the ride.
From an early childhood educators point of view, there is much that can be drawn from the experience of interacting with Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa. Firstly, the rich cultural and language additions to this text help young children to develop an appreciation for a nation contrasted to their own. There are opportunities to discuss animals native to this land, along with the landscape, flora and local customs. A great accompaniment to this book would be a globe or atlas to point out where Charlie’s trek takes place. The vocabulary featured in Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa book is rich and includes local based phrases, as well as objects such as binoculars and a compass. I loved the subtle messages included in this book, which is about embracing all cultures, to the importance of respect, unity, hope and national pride. Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa is a great educational tool. I have no doubt that this book can be used effectively in classrooms, libraries, child care centres and of course home libraries.
What makes this picture book a feast for the eyes are the stunning illustrations that come courtesy of Sophie Norsa. I loved the medium used for Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa. Norsa employs soft splashes of watercolour to compliment the overall appearance of the illustrations. The illustrations of the characters and the places in this book seem to burst with vitality. Sherlock the dog was a big hit in this household and we actively searched for his placement on every page of the book! I have a personal soft spot for the rainbow page, it was breathtaking! I also noted that illustrations work in conjunction with the central puzzle in the novel. The reader must work with Charlie to collect each visual clue, which eventually leads to the all important treasure!
Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern, delivers one final hook in closing her delightful picture book, Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa. The last page has Charlie holding a map of the world, asking where to next? I think this is a great device to grab hold of the reader’s attention and to entice the audience to seek out another issue in this fun series. Don’t forget to check out your bonus postcard, which is contained in a pocket on the inside of the back cover of the book. This is a great device to encourage early writing.
What an experience, in Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa there is the opportunity to read, see, do and learn so much on this interactive undertaking! Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa comes with a big stamp of approval. I look forward to sharing more adventures across the globe with Charlie!
Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa by Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern and illustrated by Sophie Norsa was published on June 29th 2018 by Little Steps Publishing. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about Just Write For Kids – Books on Tour visit here.
To learn more about the author of Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern visit here.
* I wish to thank Little Steps Publishing/Just Write For Kids – Books On Tour for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Charlie’s Adventures in South Africa, is book #119 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge
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