Nini at Carnival

Publisher: Red Fox / Random House Children’s Books

It’s Carnival and Nini doesn’t have a costume. She sits on a box and cries as the parade of costumed participants traipses by, until Nini’s friend Betti gives her a piece of colourful cloth to wrap around her. Problem solved! Nini is at the heart of the parade, dancing and having such a good time, she is declared Queen of the Carnival.

The story is simple, but the images are full of Carnival crowds, energy, and NOISE. There are whistles and metal drums, bells and guitars. ‘Toot, toot! Tweet, tweet! Clang, clang! Bang, bang! Katang, katang, katang, katang…’ Children will enjoy looking at the various costumes – astronauts, animals, dancers – and picking out their favourites. Readers will feel like they are joining in the parade themselves as the energy from the images seems to march right off the page into your imagination.

Nini at Carnival by Errol Lloyd was first published in 1978, and there’s a reason the book has remained so popular. The images are a riot of mixed media and primary colours, with aquas and oranges too. The endpapers are a gorgeous, batik-looking silhouette of an exotic parade.

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