Saturday, 25 November 2006

Walking Lightly, Fleur Beale, 2005

WALKING LIGHTLY Fleur Beale, illustrated by Michaela Sangl, Mallinson Rendel, Wellington, New Zealand, 2005, 72 pages.
Paperback, NZ$16.95 ISBN 0-908783-90-6.
Hardback NZ$21.95. ISBN 0-908783-84-1.

Millie’s parents are wealthy but she prefers to ‘walk lightly through the world.’ Since she plans to live simply, her parents advise her to be resourceful, so in her holidays Millie goes camping, while her classmates are at posh resorts. When disaster strikes during a class trip, Millie is the only one with the resourcefulness to survive. The others come to value her independent attitude to life, while Millie learns the value of friendship.

The layout of Walking Lightly is fresh and exciting. Michaela Sangl’s illustrations include spaces for readers to add their own contributions, such as ‘Stuff You’d Take to a Tropical Island’. The result is a very funny book which enables readers to share Millie’s encounters with peer pressure and mass marketing.

Trevor Agnew

First published in The Press, Christchurch, on December 24th 2004.

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