Published: 5th March 2019
Publisher: Puffin Books, imprint of Penguin Random House Australia
Format: Hardback picture book courtesy of publisher for review
An original, compelling, and visually stunning treatment of a common childhood predicament: overcoming a fear of the water.
Lottie goes to swim lessons every Saturday, but she never gets in the water. That’s because she is convinced there is a shark in the pool, a shark that wants to eat her and only her. But then Walter appears. Walter likes singing and reading books and bubble baths, and his favorite food is fish sticks, just like Lottie. When Saturday rolls around again, Lottie is no more ready to jump in the pool than she was before. Or is she? Sometimes it just takes a special friend to find the courage that was inside you all along.
When I opened my mail and discovered a new Anna Walker picture book, I knew I was in for a real treat; and I was. As I have come to expect from Anna Walker, Lottie & Walter was a beautiful picture book with heart and soul that is sure to capture the attention of readers word wide.
Lottie is afraid of the water thanks to a crippling fear of what might be below the inviting glass-like surface. It makes swimming lessons a particular tough challenge, as Lottie sits on the edge of the pool wanting desperately to swim with her peers and the swim instructor, but too afraid to dip even her toes in the water. For Lottie has a secret, deep within the depths of the swimming pool, a shark is lurking, waiting specifically to eat her the second she gets in the water.
One day after lessons, Lottie peers into a puddle of water and meets Walter, a singing-bubble-bathing-loving Walrus who instantly becomes her best friend. In next to no time, Lottie and Walter are inseparable, but can he achieve the impossible and gently coxes her into the water at a birthday party?
Lottie & Walter is a story about irrational and crippling fears; those ones that we all have, that we know don’t make any sense, but simply can not shake. For Lottie, it’s a deep seated fear of the sharks and the unknown waiting below the water’s surface. It’s also a story about unwavering friendships, be they fictional or real, and the power they have over opening our minds to new possibilities and experiences.
As usual Walker’s illustrations are spot on. She has a knack for great detail delivered in simplistic ways, to not overload the reader and so that the story isn’t lost in the process. She does this through the fantastic use of white space, allowing the story itself to stand up and speak to the heart of the reader, while the illustrations create the perfect accompaniment for a fresh story that both entertains and reassures our darkest fears.
All in all, Lottie & Walter is a super cute, adorable and easy to relate to picture book. With swimming an essential skill in Australia, I can’t help but think this is one of the most unique stories to help over come a very real problem that a lot of children face daily.
To purchase a copy of Lottie & Walter, visit the following online retailers:
Penguin Books Australia | Amazon AUS | Amazon US | Angus & Robertsons | Booktopia | Book Depository | Collins | Dymocks |
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