My daughter and I are very new to the Wilbie range of stories, and I was very happy when my mum came home one afternoon with Wilbie Finds A Friend. The story is written and illustrated by Sally Chambers, and published by Piccadilly Press.
Wilbie is a little duck who is just football mad! At the beginning of the school holidays he is so very excited as he is going to play football, and he wants to play it all the time. Wilbie loved to play football in his back garden, but there was one problem.....his ball kept going over the fence as his back garden is very small. Somehow the ball always came back. One day he headed the ball over the fence before dinner, but by the time he had eaten his sandwiches it was back!! This kept happening every day until one day when he was playing with his friend, Harry, it went over the fence so Wilbie says "Never mind, lets get a drink and by the time we have finished it, the ball will be back on the grass". But, for the first time, the ball wasn't there.
They waited, and waited, and waited but it still didn't come so Wilbie looked over the fence and saw a very overgrown garden with a rusty old bike, a broken greenhouse, a dustbin and lots and lots of flowerpots.....but no ball! Wilbie asks his mum to go and get the ball, they all go together and Wilbie wasn't happy as living next door is Mr Appleby, an old man. Wilbie doesn't like old people, he thought they were boring and never did anything but sit around and talk. Inside mr Appleby's house, Wilbie can't believe his eyes - there is so much football memorabilia: shirts, pictures, photos, trophies, cups and flags!! Wilbie and Harry sit down with Mr Appleby looking at his scrapbooks and then all his other things including a very old football. When it was time to go Wilbie asks if he can come again, and would even kick his ball over the fence on purpose just so he had an excuse to call round. Wilbie realises old people aren't so boring after all, and in fact they have fantastic stories to tell! And so, Wilbie has a new friend!
I adore this book, I think the story is a very valuable one and teaches young children to understand the elderly. My little girl is almost three years old now, and she is at the stage where she does find visiting my grandma a little boring and so I keep reading this book to her in the hope she will realise that she could listen to some of the things she talks about. Of course I understand that it is difficult for an almost three year old to grasp but I do think this story gives her a little more understanding.
The pictures in the book are really well drawn and look like more like paintings than actual pictures and while they aren't vibrant the colours still really stand out and are very appealing. My little girl is a real Wilbie fan and she loves one of the other stories "Wilbie - footy mad" too. While the books are prodominantly about football I don't think it necessarily makes them just aimed at boys, my daughter loves football (that could be me brainwashing her though!!) and loves ducks so its a great combination for her!
You can find this book on Amazon from just over £2.00 which is a real bargain!
I really recommend this book!!! Thank you for reading my review :)