A simple story aimed at the younger end of the picture book market: a good bedtime read.
Max is trying to decide what to take to Show and Tell. He’d like to take his cuddly dog, Toffee, but he’s worried that the other children might laugh at him for bringing a boring old soft toy. He is debating what else he could take when he notices something high up on The Unreachable Shelf. It looks like a treasure chest and has a soft golden glow. Treasure, he decides, would be the best thing ever to take to Show and Tell. Max wishes he could reach it. His wish comes true and Max finds himself on a magical quest to reach the treasure. The quest may be hard but he has Toffee with him to help. Together they find the treasure and, when they open the chest, they find a surprise – the greatest treasure of all is not what they first thought.
The Golden Treasure is a simple story, making it most suitable for children at the younger end of the picture book market (there probably isn’t enough to sustain the interest of children at the older end of the age range). This does, however, make it highly suitable as a bedtime book, especially as many of the youngest readers will closely identify with Max’s love of his special cuddly toy. These children are also likely to enjoy the fantastical elements of the story such as toys coming to life and Toffee’s size changing.
While the central theme is about appreciating what you have and the value of good friends, there is also a clear message around ignoring what others say and having confidence in your own opinion. In an era where there is so much pressure to conform, I don’t think it’s ever to early to impress this on our children.
The pictures are bright and colourful with the magical and atmospheric quality that I’ve come to associate with Marie Voigt’s illustrations. As with her other books, the pictures positively sparkle through the effective use of colour and light. Max and Toffee are both visually appealing but it’s probably the other characters – notably the unicorn – that really steal this book.
Date: September 2020
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Website: Marie Voigt