Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Beatrice and Vanessa

Beatrice and Vanessa

John Yoeman
Illustrator:   Quentin Blake 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Andersen Press, 2012   ISBN: 978-1849392693

Beatrice the ewe and Vanessa the nanny-goat live on a farm together. For as long as they can remember they have nibbled grass together, walked around the farm together, and have stood chatting with their chins resting on the field gate. They are pretty content with their lot in life until one day when everything they once enjoyed doing seems to become stale.

   Being a bold animal Vanessa suggests that they go on a holiday. A holiday is what they need to put a little vim in their lives. The two animals go into the farmhouse and decide to take a bunch of balloons, a wolf’s head and a shopping bag. The wolf’s head goes into the bag and then off the friends go.

    Vanessa and Beatrice are having such a grand time looking around and sampling wonderful fresh and sweet grass that they don’t really pay attention to where they are going and they end up in a dark forest. Before they can react, they find themselves face to face with a pack of extremely hungry wolves. Naturally enough the wolves are eager to eat the sheep and goat, but Vanessa is a very smart animal who can think on her hooves.   Hopefully she will come up with an idea that will save the friends before it is too late.

   In this delightful picture book we meet a sheep and a goat who seek a change, perhaps even an adventure, and they find themselves experiencing a little more excitement than they planned on. Charming illustrations are paired with John Yoeman’s clever story to give readers a tale that is entertaining, funny, and that has a perfect ending.