The Walloos’ Big Adventure

The Walloos’ Big Adventure
Anuska Allepuz
Walker Books

Allow me to introduce the Walloos. Living on a rocky island at the edge of a lake, there’s a big one, a spotty one, an old one and a little one.

Each Walloo has its own particular penchant. Little Walloo loved to grow plants, Spotty Walloo had a culinary bent especially with regard to soups and salads; boat building was Big Walloo’s love and Old Walloo’s favourite occupation was storytelling, particularly about the old days and his visits to tropical-exotic islands.

Fired up by his tales, Little Walloo longs for her own tropical island adventure and one day Big Walloo builds a boat and away they go, sailing through nights and days until they spy something exciting: – a ‘tropical-exotic island.”

It’s a truly beautiful place but there’s something slightly strange about it that only Little Walloo notices – at first anyway; this island seems to be moving. It’s not long before Old Walloo agrees with her.

When is an island not an island? To tell would be to spoil this enchanting story. But what can be said is that what happens involves an idea, problem-solving, seeing things from the perspective of others, teamwork, kindness, caring and the co-creation of more stories of ‘tropical exotic adventures.

There’s an abundance of warmth and gentle humour in this smashing story of the Walloos that reminded me just a little of the Moomins in the way the characters engage with and understand one another, their charm and their thirst for adventure.

Then there’s that gentle environmental message made more evident in Anuska Allepuz’s wonderfully whimsical illustrations.

I can’t wait to share this with young children – it’s an absolute delight.

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