Hannah Ensor’s charming Stickman stories.
Review by Iain Robertson
At whose door do we lay a modern sensitivity towards equalising disabled and able-bodied attitudes? Personally, I think that last year’s Olympics and its incredible legacy are playing their parts but, so too is Hannah Ensor, the Oxfordshire-based author of this pair of delightful children’s books; Welly Walks and Biscuit Baking. From every £5.99 invested, purchasers can be confident that £1.00 is being donated to ‘Whizz-Kidz’, a brilliant mobility charity for young people.
Welly Walks and Biscuit Baking feature both able-bodied and disabled stick characters in their simple, yet readily memorable storylines. While the text is straightforward and ideal for pointing little fingers at, the bold, primary colours and non-judgemental characters present charming faces that show nothing other than delight.
Decent construction, by way of printing onto a wipe-clean cover, with fine density pages within (20 in Welly Walks; 24 in Biscuit Baking), ensures that even sticky finger-marks can be removed easily. There is a gentle educational aspect to the contents and useful editorial twists to both stories, all of which are sure to engage with small children. They worked with our pair.
However, an additional feature of both books is the ‘flip-book’ element, which works most effectively. Once each story is read, the book having been turned around to face the young person/people and the pages simply flicked through quickly. In Welly Walks, a water droplet starts at the top of the page and falls into a splash, which creates a small puddle, while in Biscuit Baking, a chocolate chip cookie is devoured, page-by-page, until there is nothing but a small pile of crumbs left. It is an ingenious extra feature that simply adds to the value of this pair of books and also creates a sense of adventure, a desire to try, in the children.
They represent good value in a crowded market sector.
Welly Walks (ISBN: 978 1908 098313)
Biscuit Baking (ISBN: 978 1908 098320)
by Hannah Ensor
Hannah Ensor’s books are available from http://stickmancommunications.co.uk and www.amazon.co.uk.