Age Range: 4 to 7
I loved Quentin Blake’s illustrations in the Roald Dahl books that I read as a child but I hadn’t read any of his picture books until my daughter brought Mrs Armitage and The Big Wave home from a birthday party. She thinks the story is hilariously funny and giggles in anticipation of her favourite pictures. I would love to read more of his picture books and I would really appreciate any Quentin Blake recommendations that you have.
The Story: Mrs Armitage and her dog, Breakspear, are in the sea waiting for a big wave. However, Mrs Armitage has to swim to shore several times to collect various items that she has forgotten (snacks, a parasol, a megaphone, a boathook to name but a few). Just before the big wave arrives they rescue a little girl, Miranda, who has got into difficulties swimming. Fortunately Miranda surfs with them and they land on the beach right in front of Miranda’s parents. After a drink at the beach cafe Mrs Armitage wants another go but is there anything else she needs to take out to sea with her?
Quentin Blake’s wonderful trademark illustrations move this hilarious story along beautifully. There are so many comic touches in the pictures and Mrs Armitage solves all her problems in a humorous way. My daughter is particularly amused by the motorhorn the avocadoburger and the boathook that is used to rescue Miranda (at first she was concerned about the boathook hurting her). The text is fairly minimal but easy to read although we get distracted by the pictures, especially on the last page when we are busy trying to decide what Mrs Armitage should take with her for the next big wave! The question is whether she will do a Waikiki flip, a Bali Swerve or something even more exotic!
Quote from Jessica (age 5) – “Breakspear is a funny name for a dog.”
A very funny story, we look forward to hearing your Quentin Blake recommendations.
Author / Illustrator: Quentin Blake
Thank you to all of you who recommended Mr Magnolia. We bought it and love the rhymes – we think it’s a hoot!