Sunday Picture Book – Imaginary Fred

We love books – obviously – and we often review latest releases. But I’ve been a parent for nearly twenty years, and I know that the older books sometimes get overlooked by new parents – and they’re missing out on a gem or two of bedtime reading. I think we all know the Very Hungry Caterpillar, of course, but I find newer parents may not know Albert Le Blanc, Little Tiger or Spot. There have been some beautiful picture books that we’d like to re-introduce into your life – I welcome you to the Sunday Picture Book series :)

Any conversation about children’s books is going to feature a couple of names at some point.
Oliver Jeffers. One of the very best picture book authors/Illustrators in the whole widest world. We have a complete library, and my book-absorbing 8yr old STILL regularly revisits the astonishingly beautiful ‘Stuck’ and ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ on a regular basis.

And Eoin Colfer – the man who gave the world Artemis Fowl. Quite simply one of the best series of books for young people/juniors/teens/grown-ups ever. Also happens to be one of the hardest to describe and still sound interesting… (Science Fiction Fantasy about a kind of tech-geeky fairy underworld and a teenager who is a master criminal but emotional gold inside? Yes, I’d probably have passed too…)

But Imaginary Fred has the two of them. TOGETHER. Eoin Colfer wrote Imaginary Fred – and Oliver Jeffers has illustrated it.

Imaginary Fred. Oh me oh my, the joy and delight!

I couldn’t wait to read it, my expectations were high as I opened the first page… and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s subtle, clever, deliciously gentle and heartfelt… and leaves you with a smile as you turn back to the first page to read it again. The illustrations are typically quirky and detailed, gorgeously rounding out the story and making the book a wonderful, wonderful read.

The story is one of an imaginary friend – Fred – who floats like a feather as he waits for a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, to enable him to appear to a lonely child who needs him. But it’s a sad fact that imaginary friends get left behind, and fade back to floating like feathers to wait for their next friend to need them for a while.
All Fred wants is a special forever-friendship to keep for himself.
It’s gorgeous – and as well as being a comforting read for any child with an imaginary friend, there’s a deeper message that applies just as much to relationships with favourite toys and modern child friendships built over the internet, as well as ‘real life’ friends too.

Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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