Number 6, Tumble Tree Lane, Lavender Farm evokes a lazy safe and pretty place. Vivid imagery is a strength of this author and once again she doesn’t disappoint.
In The Adventures of Polly Rocket, Jennifer Calvert has Polly Rocket the wily cat and Butterbean the silly puppy inhabit a generally harmonious house and yard with a kind and caring family – until a snake appears.
Polly’s process of elimination regarding what Butterbean sees ensures she isn’t disturbed to too great a degree – until she recognises she needs to take action.
Most folks are either cat people or dog people. I am unashamedly a cat person. Polly Rocket is an apt name for a smart, stealthy cat and Butterbean splendidly suits a slobbery, silly brown puppy.
For me, the fact that Polly Rocket is really the saviour of the day is exactly what I’d expect. As an adult, I can see that Polly is not only the true hero, but the incident at the centre of the narrative is simply part of her ‘job’. There is no fanfare, no need for approval, no need to be distressed when she isn’t given due credit for her wiliness and bravery. It is her nature to be brave.
The colourful illustrations do this delightful children’s story justice, and the tale itself is engaging and fast-paced. I can envisage this book being any child’s favourite.
I love the ending. Polly Rocket has places to go, adventures to have and who-knows-what to save every night. She certainly couldn’t accomplish much if a slobbery puppy bounded along. Best to sneak stealthily past Butterbean, out the cat flap and into the night.
Well done, Jennifer Calvert. This is a delightful yarn.