Choices / Bye, Car

Child’s Play

Using the backdrop of a lido on a summer’s day, this debut picture book explores some of the many decisions children will be faced with in their lives. Relatively few words and engaging playful scenes of a wonderfully diverse cast of characters and one little girl in particular, invite youngsters to consider the possible choices they might make and the consequences thereof.

Some are simple: what kind of ice-cream to buy, should I be kind and share my lunch with somebody else; or much harder – shall I take a dive from the high diving board?

But what I really like about the entire book is that the text never actually says what is happening on the page, allowing the reader/ listener to explore each illustration, discuss what the little girl is doing, how she could be feeling, and perhaps what the consequences of her choices might be.

Teaching children about choices and consequences, and causes and effects is part and parcel of the foundation stage curriculum and beyond as well as something parents are involved in – it’s a part of growing up but sometimes living with the outcomes of those choices is more difficult. This book offers a really good starting point for conversations with a very young child or class of little ones but equally could be used again later on for reflection and further discussion

The book ends with a reminder of everyone’s uniqueness not spoken this time, but hinted at in the final scene wherein the smiling little girl takes centre stage (almost!) beneath which are the words ‘and with every choice you grow!’ It’s definitely one to add to class, school, and home collections.

There are important choices too in:

Bye, Car
Naomi Danis and Daniel Rieley
Child’s Play

Whether or not they understand the green message of this book, youngsters will enjoy seeing the wide variety of cars and perhaps trying to identify some of them, as two young children bid farewell to those passing by. They start by watching from a window the ones travelling along the busy road and then accompanied by an adult, they venture out into the hustling bustling urban streets for further vehicle spotting.
Naomi Danis’ rhyming narrative includes basic opposites such as near/far, and becomes increasingly descriptive – ‘car in a hurry/ car in a flurry’, ‘howling car, growling car’

and is nicely balanced by Daniel Rieley’s alluring, unfussy illustrations that starkly remind us of the way our streets are vehicle dominated. Happily however, come the new day, the walk shows greener alternatives to the pollution-spewing cars as we see an electric bus, cyclists and other eco-friendly modes of transport.

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