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The Terrible Suitcase

CBCA 2013 Winner

From much loved children's illustrator Freya Blackwood comes a beautiful story about that all important first day at school.

It's one little girl's wish to have a red backpack with rockets and a silver zipper just like her friend Howard. The red suitcase she has been given? Well, it just doesn't cut it

"I was mad.

M A D, mad!"

Despite her protests our main character is destined to carry her "terrible suitcase" with her on her first day at school. Her observations of the other backpacks feels her with dismay as she glances down at her own. As the day progresses our plucky protagonist pulls every trick to entice the others in to seeing her suitcase as something special. Incidentally it is worth observing that the other kids have no reaction to the red suitcase, negative or otherwise, a lesson in itself! Inspiration and a positive turn of events comes from an unlikely source ... no spoilers!

Using first person narration Emma Allen captures her young character brilliantly using the matter of fact logic and consequences so indicative of this age group.  The scene depicting our main character's disagreement with her best friend is perfectly conveyed with well placed repetitions of the phrase "And because  ... " making it a stand out page. This is a detailed and well developed story making it a perfect picture book for Preps in particular.

Freya Blackwood's illustrations? Well? Loved them. Loved them for the way in which the warmth and friendliness just radiates from the illustrations of the classroom in particular. Perfect for a book centred on that all important first day at school. Blackwood's gorgeous life like pencil illustrations, seen previously in books such as Clancy & Millie, are a perfect match for this story providing it with depth and charm.

Enjoy.

Teacher Notes on The Terrible Suitcase, from Scholastic, are available in PDF format here.

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The Essentials

Illustrator
Publisher Blurb
It's the first day of school and all the children have a special backpack, except one - she has a terrible suitcase.

A story about how imagination can make magic out of anything.

Nitty Gritty

Format
Hardcover
Pages
32
Publisher
ISBN
978-1862919402

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The Terrible Suitcase 2013-08-23 06:53:09 Jodie McAlister
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Reviewed by Jodie McAlister    August 23, 2013

The not so terrible suitcase

A most fitting winner CBCA's Early Childhood book of the year and something that is so easy for the reader to relate - feeling like you just don't fit in. This is such a lovely story again with magic illustrations that really add to the delivery. Sharing this book is a great way to discuss resiliance and positivity for kids (well for grown ups too). I love that something unwanted and unappreciated becomes the gateway to a new level of cool and acceptance. Everyone should keep a copy handy for when such an occassion arrives - and no doubt it will!

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