An exciting picture book adventure set in a prehistoric world, I can fully understand why the first two books in this series both won awards.
Pod has agreed to look after baby Nim. He’s been told it’ll be easy because Nim is really clever. She’s already started to talk but, no matter how many times he tells her, Nim doesn’t seem to be able to get Pod’s name right. Pod gives up and decides to amuse Nim by making her a swing. Unfortunately, the swing breaks free of the tree and sets off on adventure that brings Nim a little too close to a terrible green snapper fish, a sabre-toothed tiger, a big beaky eagle, and a rather large waterfall.
This is the third book about Pod and his prehistoric world. I haven’t read either of the others but I can fully understand why they have both won awards. (Stone Underpants won the EOCT Award while Game of Stones won the Sheffield Book Award).
While the phrase Pod uses to introduce himself (“I, Pod”) is rather contrived, I loved the mixture of prehistoric and modern, including Nim’s baby rattle made with a bone. I also enjoyed the pacing of the story which has a lot of excitement and suspense for a picture book as well as plenty of humour. (I couldn’t help smiling at all the names Nim uses instead of Pod and loved how she finally gets Pod’s name right at exactly the moment he hopes she wouldn’t!)
The illustrations are colourful and clear. On first examination, they appear quite simple but look closer and you’ll realise there’s lots of expression in the faces and some truly wonderful details. (I especially loved the insects and creatures that creep into the pictures. For example, the first double page spread includes an attractive lizard and an incredibly cute caterpillar while later in the book we have what looks like a mini purple pterodactyl.).
The pictures perfectly compliment this story which has one of the best endings I’ve read in a picture book for a long time. (Sorry to say more could spoil your enjoyment of this excellent picture book).
If you enjoyed this, you might want to check out the other two books about Pod by Rebecca Lisle and Richard Watson – Stone Underpants and Game of Stones. Alternatively, if you’re looking for another picture book with a clever twist at the end, why not try Bonkers About Beetroot by Cath Jones and Chris Jevons.
Date: April 2019
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing
Website: Rebecca Lisle