Title:Where Is Fred? Author: Edward Hardy Illustrator:Ali Pye Publisher:Egmont 2012 Found:Borrowed from library
What's it all about?
Fred is a lovely, fluffy, white caterpillar and he is excellent at playing hide-and- seek. He chooses all the perfect places for a white caterpillar to hide. It's very tricky to spot him amongst white cotton wool balls or a fluffy white sheep...
And being a juicy caterpillar, it is very important to stay hidden. This would be simple if not for the fact that like most caterpillars, Fred loves to eat shiny, GREEN leaves. Therein lies the problem...
It comes as no surprise that Gerald,a hungry crow, spots Fred and wants him for his lunch. And so, a hilarious game of hide and seek ensues with Fred finding some great places to hide.. right under the hungry crows nose... Erm... beak...
Will Fred be able to outsmart him? And can Fred remain hidden or will he blow his cover?!
Thank you Mr Edward Hardy! Where is Fred? will probably be (and remain) our favourite picture book of 2012. It's a must-read!
The story is hilarious. Especially Gerald who obviously gets increasingly frustrated when he can't find Fred...
The story is complemented by Ali Pye's wonderful illustrations. My favourite is how Gerald is introduced to the reader in picture strip form down the side of the page. It's like a movie strip! (I swear you can almost hear the dramatic, tension filled music in the background: dun-dun DUUUUUN!)
The writer's voice in the story encourages participation from the child. "Look at how lovely and fluffy he is. You can stroke him if you like..." It feels as though you being told the story personally.
Gerald is probably the star of the book. "Gerald was not the cleverest of birds" The illustrations give Gerald so much character and portray his suspicions and frustrations in an amusing way.
I would probably make the observation that the language is wonderfully descriptive, though there may be words that a young child will not have come across such as "Despondent" but it is used in context with illustration so it's not off-putting, and can be easily explained. It just jumped out of the page at me as different/interesting language to use in a young children's picture book.
I love all aspects of this picture book. It feels that the writer has really thought about how to tap into a young audiences humour and, has made it a delight for adults to share with children too.
I don't want to spoil the ending, but the way Hardy finishes his tale is delightful and unexpected.
Some of OJ's reactions:
He always wants to stroke Fred at the beginning of the book
He always joins in with Gerald's catchphrase: "Are you sure?!"
When Gerald is sad that he can't find Fred, OJ wants to help him... "I can help Gerald mum-mum..."
Thinks it's very funny Fred pretends to be lots of items; especially when he pretends to be a moustache and a scarf...