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Book review: Tell Me All, by Dorothy Plummer

Posted by Lisa Hill on September 4, 2013

Tell Me 001Tell Me All, A Story for Children is the latest in a series of rhyming books by Dorothy Plummer.   Dorothy’s previous titles, Tell Me, Tell Me; Tell Me Too; and Tell Me Please were anthologies of poems pitched at small children but this one is a story in rhyme.

Based on Dorothy’s memories of childhood in 1930s Melbourne, it tells the story of her friendship with Etheleen and at the front of the book there’s a gorgeous photo of the two of them together when they were aged four. The book begins like this:

Dorothy Mavis Prissy Missy Harris
was the most decorated girl in Australia

She wore ear-rings, a necklace and twenty-four bangles,
She wore every jewel that jingles and jangles
She carried a purse, wore a brooch and some rings
Held a cuddly blue teddy, and a muff with long strings.
On top of her head was a bow, holding curls
And dangling out back were her mother’s old pearls.
The smile on her face let everyone know
That this girl was keen to put on a show.
The sight was essentially fashion from Paris
On Dorothy Mavis Prissy Missy Harris –
Yes, this most decorated girl in Australia
Wore far too much fancy paraphernalia.

Queenie: One Elephant's Story Dorothy is the bravest girl in Australia, the strongest, the cleverest, the most daring, and the toughest.  She rides Queenie the Elephant at the zoo but disaster strikes when Etheleen wants a ride too.  In fact, poor Etheleen triggers disasters everywhere, but fortunately Dorothy is the friendliest girl in Australia too, so arm-in-arm they come to no harm …

Despite the pearls and paraphernalia, Dorothy is an adventurous little miss, with a lively imagination.  This book made me feel quite nostalgic for the days when kids played outdoors, and had the freedom to play more-or-less where they liked.  Emerging readers will (with a little help) enjoy reading this book as a window on ‘the olden days’ and on the joy of enduring friendship.

Disclosure: Please note that Dorothy is a friend of mine through the Mordialloc Writers Group.

Author: Dorothy Plummer
Title: Tell Me All, A Story for Children
Illustrator: Bill Straede
Publisher: Helen Merrick-Andrews, 2012
ISBN: 9781876761202
Source: review copy courtesy of the author.

Contact the author at PO Box 5267 Mordialloc 3195

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