I’m extremely fond of this book, and with its author/illustrator for that matter. I found Nick Bland’s previous work, The Wrong Book, quite charming and colourful. Twinkle, though, has managed to nestle its way into my heart.
You feel like you’re about to embark on a magical, mysterious story by simply looking at the front cover, and indeed you do. It has also been thoughtfully constructed and presented. The combined story, illustrations and lay-out encourage the reader to explore, predict and use their imagination.
In this story we meet Penny Pasketti, an endearing little girl who has been illustrated in perfect and adorable toddler proportions. Bedtime is upon her and she knows how to find comfort during the dark, lonely night.
She becomes friends with Little Star. Together, ‘they fill the night with giggle and bounce’ and share secrets. Before it is time to fall asleep they devise many strategies to help Little Star get home. There are also signs in the illustrations that lead us to believe that Penny Pasketti is not the only child befriending stars in the night.
The story is sweet, but I think it’s Nick Bland’s attention to detail that has me so fascinated with this book. He has created his own acrylic artwork for this story, and it’s the background that captures my attention. I feel the need for someone to read this story to me so I can focus wholeheartedly on the illustrations. They give us an insight into what else is happening beyond Penny Pasketti’s adventure. You can read this book over and over again, and each time you find another clue that leads you to Penny Pasketti’s final solution.
My daughter enjoys this book, but it actually sits by my own bedside table and I read it to myself before turning in for the night. I can’t get enough of it. It is just beautiful to behold plus I’m obsessed with finding something new in the illustrations each night.
When you lay in the dark room and all is quiet, Twinkle allows your mind to think about all things hopeful, and as you lay your head on the pillow you feel a sense of reassurance before drifting off to sleep.
Nights are so dark, so quiet, and so lonely. It’s no wonder that many children (and adults) are afraid of the night. This is a lovely story to read before the lights are switched off.
Author: Nick Bland
Illustrator: Nick Bland
Publisher: Scholastic Australia, A$24.99 RRP
Publication Date: July, 2010
Type/Format: Picture Book/Hardcover
For ages: 3+