A Great and Complicated Adventure


This book by Tellegeen reminds me of the Winnie the Pooh books. The nineteen short stories (four to eight pages in length) are about a variety of animals. They look cute and they make every day occurrences fun. A squirrel makes a cake for an ant for no reason and he delivers it by throwing it into the air. Accompanying it is a surprise letter that reads, “Dear Ant, How are you?” It’s signed, “The squirrel”. The ant answers back with a letter made of cream and chestnuts and honey, “Dear Squirrel, I’m fine. And how are you”. It’s signed, “The ant”. As the squirrel is eating his letter he realizes he’s doing fine too, and then when he finishes he “wipes away the question mark that was hanging from the end of his nose”. One story in the book is about a riddle, another about a floating birthday cake, and two near the end are about a hand that appears in the air and a cricket who broke his sense of smell after sniffing a rose too much. Friendship, kindness, introspection, and community are themes that runs through many of the stories. The characters in the book (pelican, zebra, snail, butterfly, crow, heron, zebra, turtle, bat and more) appear as small coloured illustrations all throughout the book. The illustrations are endearing and they are scattered about on every page. Reluctant readers may enjoy this book because the stories are short and there is a lot of white space on the page. Readers can use the silky yellow ribbon included with the book to mark their page. Tellegen (who originally told these stories to his daughter at bedtime) has written other works about his animal friends. Illustrations by Ahlberg (daughter of author and illustrator Allan and Janet Ahlberg) also appear in Tellegen’s books, The Squirrel’s Birthday and Other Parties, Letters to Anyone and Everyone, and Far Away Across the Sea. To win a free copy, be the sixth person to email the name of your favourite Winnie the Pooh character to [email protected]