OVER the next week or so I’m going to blog about what I think are some great picture books, not just for Christmas, and not just for kids, but for anyone  who loves great illustration and storytelling.

No. 1 Peggy by Anna Walker, Scholastic, $24.95

Peggy is a small black chook with an adventurous spirit who finds herself accidentally transported from her suburban backyard to the bustling streets of Melbourne. Unfazed by the crowds on the city streets, Peggy gently waddles her way through baffling encounters until she finds her way home.

It’s a gorgeous tale with a subtle message about how new things don’t have to be scary, or that stepping out of your comfort zone (or being pushed) isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes getting lost is the only way to discover the things that really matter and adventure can be found everywhere.

Australian author and illustration Anna Walker uses a muted palette – lots of feathery greys, creams and blues. Within the covers of this book, she recreates the weather and anyone who knows Melbourne well will recognise how skilfully Walker has captured our stormy days and rainy streets. Despite being mostly black and very small, Walker’s Peggy radiates personality; she’s stoic, kind, and if you can forgive the pun, unflappable.


Readers three and up.


Little Cat and the Big Red Bus, Puffin, $14.95