Hurry Up Alfie; Alfie’s Lost Sharkie

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WALKER, Anna Hurry Up Alfie ISBN 9781742839912 SCIS 1676337; Alfie’s Lost Sharkie ISBN 9781742839929 Scholastic, 2014 unpaged $19.99

Anna Walker has accurately captured the cheerful frustration of trying to get a 3-5 year old dressed and ready to go out in Hurry up Alfie.  The ever patient mother dinosaur calmly deals with Alfie’s lack of focus and distracted antics and the cat’s expressions and ears tell their own story.  The illustrations are made with ink, watercolours and collage and the background patterns add another dimension to the settings.  The ending is a surprise and completes the visual narrative.

In Alfie’s Lost Sharkie it is bedtime and Alfie can’t find Sharkie.  We join his search and again sympathise with the patient mother who offers reasonable options for finding the toy.  The cat also plays a role in this story and the ending is again unexpected and will delight the age group.

There are many elements to share in the illustrations and these books introduce very young children to a new and mischievous character.  Recommended for very young children and older ones who will reminisce and identify with these explorations of living with pre schoolers.

reviewed by Julie Long

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