Tuesday 4 March 2014

It's Walter Under the Bridge - Book review.

Being a bookworm with a bookworm son who loves snuggling up on the sofa with his mama and reading lots of books together, when we were given the opportunity to review a new book I jumped at the chance.

It’s Walter Under the Bridge is an imaginative story book based on Whitney Bridge, an 18th Century toll bridge in Whitney-on-Wye, Hertfordshire which has been lovingly cared for since 2012 by Maggie Taylor and her husband Grahame Penny.  The historic toll bridge’s custodian Maggie inspired the book, with her imagination and ideas sparking the creation of this delightful story book for children which was creatively written by local author Dion Child and imaginatively illustrated by local artist Graeme Bowen.

“Legend has it that every bridge has a Troll living under it, but not many bridge owners have necessarily met theirs yet” –  Maggie Taylor, Whitney Bridge.

The story centres around Walter the troll.  Following an encounter with three very nasty trolls Walter sadly has to leave his comfortable home under a bridge and his animal friends to find a new home.  On his quest to find a new home Walter discovers Whitney Bridge, where he settles and makes his new home under the arches of the bridge.  As well as finding a new home under the arches of historic Whitney Bridge Walter also finds a new best friend in Chester the American Cocker Spaniel who lives at Whitney Bridge.

Walter is a lovely and friendly character and the story is delightful.  The imaginative storyline is captivating and my little bookworm was enchanted by Walter the troll and his story and he especially loved the illustrations that really bring the story to life.  Even though the book is aimed at 4-9 year olds, Bug at (very nearly) the grand old age of 3 has enjoyed snuggling together and being read this lovely story about Walter the troll.  Bug loves the animals in the book and Chester the dog is a firm favourite character.

I think the story of Walter is the perfect story to spark the imaginations of children with children enjoying the bridge/troll theme and that little ones will love being read the story and older children will enjoy reading about Walter’s story.

The only snag in the story for me surrounded the tale of the 3 nasty trolls whose bullying behaviour made Walter leave his home.  Whilst it was good to be given a reason why Walter had to find a new home and be introduced to both good and bad trolls I found it a little disheartening that there were no real consequences for the bullies and that Walter lost out.  I also found it a little sad that Walter had to leave his friends and that he refused to let his rabbit friend come along with him on his journey to find a new home.  Even though the bullies were a brash contrast to Walter’s friendly character and the fact that we did not see Walter overcoming the bullies to have a happy ending where he was instead seeing him leaving his home I loved the friendship and camaraderie of Walter’s friends as the animals helped rescue Walter from the bullies.

What I especially liked about this book which I think makes it very unique is the personal aspect of the story with the real life location of Whitney Bridge and the real life character of Chester the American Cocker Spaniel who already lives at Whitney Bridge featuring in the story.  Another personal touch is the addition of the photographs of Whitney Bridge and Chester at the end of the story along with a little historical information on the beautiful Whitney Bridge.

I also love the addition of activities for children to do at the end of the book and Bug especially loved being able to colour in Walter on the colouring page.  I also love the personal touch of being able to visit Whitney Bridge with your book and get a sticker to say that you have met Walter.

I would love to see another It’s Walter Under the Bridge book and it would be especially lovely to see Walter meet up with some of his old friends and as well as see him and Chester have fun and adventures together.

It’s Walter Under the Bridge is available at Amazon and all good bookstores (ISBN NO: 978-0992654214).  50p from each book sold is donated to The Dogs Trust charity.

For more information or to purchase the book directly through Whitney Bridge by contacting Maggie Taylor at info@whitneybridge.co.uk

*  We were sent this book to review for free, despite this I have written an honest review that contains my own words and opinions as well as the exacting opinions of Bug *

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your great review. Walter is thrilled you and Bug loved his first story and he wants you to be reassured that the nasty bully trolls get their punishment very soon. If you'd like to see the picture of them in prison please email me and I'll pop it across. Regards maggie@whitneybridge.co.uk