Collecting Sunshine*

Written by Rachel Flynn

Illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie

Reviewed by Kerry Neary

By and large, picture storybooks for children are joyful and uplifting. What could sound more joyful than Collecting sunshine. That’s the title of a book written by Rachel Flynn and illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie, which has recently been listed as a Notable early childhood book from 2018 in the CBC’s Book of the Year Awards. The story follows the inherent instinct of children to collect things, as Mabel and Robert gather stones and leaves, flowers and seedpods on their walk through the park. When it starts to rain, Robert tries to collect raindrops, but they see that the rain has jumbled up their collections on the grass. They realise there are lots of other things they could collect which may not stay around for long; like birdsong, dog smells, the feel of a brick wall; and, of course, sunshine. At home, they draw their collections on paper to remember them another time.

This cheerful peek into the happy times of childhood is accompanied by pastel watercolours of a damp day, bordered by an embroidery effect of park shrubbery. There are blue budgies and white mice to collect as well, in this charming stroll through children’s creative imagination.

Penguin Viking 2018 Picture Book Hardback $24.99 32 pages ISBN 9780143785187

* A 2019 CBCA Notable Early Childhood book

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