Edmond Went Far Away by Martin Bax
A recently published book in comparison to many in our shop, 'Edmond Went Far Away' is a short tale of a young boy's Big Adventure to 'another land', far away from his home.
It was the pictures that drew me to the book initially - beautiful bright colour illustrations by well loved illustrator Michael Foreman.
Edmond is a young boy who lives on a farm, and is fortunate enough to call all the farmyard animals his friends. As he decides to go on his journey 'far away', first he has to say goodbye to all his friends on the way; the ducks, the pig, the Jersey cows, Ned the horse and so on. To each of them he says "I am going far away"; each animal replies in its own way; "Quack-away"; "Oink-away"; "Moo-wary Mooway"; "Neigh-away".
Through the farmyard and the copse and onto his long march, he carries on and comes to the top of the hill to view the "new country that he could claim as his own". With great excitement he takes it all in and before he knows it, the farmyard is far away in the distance and there is even more to explore around the lake. At this point in the book, parents reading to their children might be wondering, who would let their little boy wander off on their own like this, when a figure walks toward Edmond and waves - his father (obviously keeping an eye on the young adventurer!!).
After more exploring, Edmond and his father get in the rowboat, go out on the lake and then find a place to camp for the night. Thankfully his father has brought supplies - sausages, beans, sleeping bags - all those essentials for camping!
Finally, the following morning, Edmond makes his way back home from 'far away', to visit all his friends in the farmyard, who gather round to greet him.
Although it was the illustrations that I liked at first, the whole story as a package really enchanted me. Perhaps it's the inclusion of the farmyard animals as Edmond's friends (I love farmyard animals), or maybe the simple story of that first Big Adventure - when you're that young, everything seems so much further away, so much bigger and so much more exciting than when you're grown up. Throughout the book you can see the imagination and innocence of children, without the need for all today's technology - just the outdoors, nature and enthusiasm for life.
As it says on the resume of this book - it really is the 'perfect bedtime story for parents and children to share'.
Contributed by Joanne Hill