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Pierre’s Not There

Laura is on summer holidays, going with her Mum for the day as she cleans house and then to the beach to spend some time playing after work. As their journey begins, it is fast becoming a typically hot summers day and Lara hopes maybe Mum will buy an ice-cream on the way home. On the ferry she befriends a dog with lovely golden brown eyes, talking to it and patting its fur but when Lara turns to say goodbye, there is no sign of the dog under the seat.

So begins a wonderful journey filled to the brim with fantasy anchored in modern day as Lara explores the Mulberry Brick house with the white windows, while her Mum does the cleaning. From the garden she sees a little boy beckoning to her from an upstairs window; she decides to explore the house, opening a door at the top of the stairs, and there is Pierre.

Pierre tells her an amazing story of his family being eaten by wolves and shows her his beautiful antique puppet theatre, equipped with puppets. The children decide to play out the story Pierre has told Lara, which is when reality begins to blend with something else as Lara, who has always loved dogs, takes the part of the Dog, or is it wolf, and a wild adventure begins to try and help Pierre find his Grandmother.

Pierre’s Not There from Ursula Dubosarsky is a perfect blend of storyline dissolving into to the medium of theatre, which is one and the same, with the characters in the puppet play continuing on the story of Pierre and his quest to find his beloved Grandmother.

There are several levels to this storyline which will make interesting discussion in a classroom or with a young reader. The concept of a story transforming into play is one to enjoy and explore as well, as the roles are clearly defined and ready for stage, lights, action and a whole load of fun acting out the storyline.

Coupled with this exciting and immensely enjoyable story are the fabulous illustrations from award winning  Christopher Nielson who captures the sentiment and fun of the story, let alone the drama when things begin to get really tough for the two children’s as their adventure becomes more than they ever expected.

Pierre’s Not There captures the imagination, allows the concept of theatre to be presented and skilfully blends reality with fantasy; the perfect recipe for hours of fun and enjoyment over the coming summer months.

Author Ursula Dubosarsky, illustrated by Christopher Nielsen.
Publisher A&U Children's Imprint: A & U Children
ISBN 9781760525934
Distributor Allen & Unwin Children's
Released November 2020