Our Little Inventor
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Far from Nell's home in the countryside, the Big City is growing more polluted every day – and Nell has a brilliant mind and an ingenious invention. Our little inventor goes on a journey to the Big City to show off her latest discovery: a machine that can clean the city's air. But Nell does not find the welcome that she imagined...
This story is a wonderful example of text and picture flowing together perfectly. The illustrations are dreamy and painterly with an almost fog-like blur, which reinforces the sense of smoke and soot that hangs over everything. Just the right amount of words are used to convey the strong environmental message. In fact, some spreads are wordless and read more like a graphic novel. This can make the story feel very filmic and sure to spellbind children with the high-stakes drama.
However, on top of the pollution warnings is a lovely message to children to always keep trrying and fighting for what they know is right, whatever the naysayers say. When Nell comes across a board room of "important" men at the council, who mock her brilliant plans, it only makes her more determined to succeed.
The final double-page spreads shows the power of the people against "the man", and will fill every child with big dreams to make the world a better place.