Review: Tippy and the Night Parade
Tippy and the Night Parade
Carré’s comic for brand-new readers begins so brilliantly, with a mother despairing of her daughter’s room and the state it’s in. But this is no normal child’s bedroom of strewn clothes and a minefield of toys, no, Tippy’s room is populated by far stranger fare, a veritable menagerie of dancing mice, flying bats, a peacock, a rabbit riding atop a tortoise, a giant snake under the bed and a horse peering through the window.
Even though Tippy protests, she thinks Mama doesn’t believe she has no idea how the animals get into her room, and as she falls to sleep the question of how is playing on her mind.
And suddenly she’s off again, off for her “nightly stroll” according to the fisherman she passes. Whether Tippy’s nigh-time journeys are real or imagined, mere dreams or crazy realities of sleepwalking weirdness will be a question each reader will need to answer for themselves, but we’re in high fantasy here, and the obvious touchstone has to be McCay’s Little Nemo as Tippy’s nocturnal ramblings have a great sense of the Slumberland about them. Nothing wrong with that of course, especially as Carré draws it all so beautifully, involves us oh so well, playing with the story and the format along the way.
Tippy wanders into the garden, trailed by the crab we saw on the fisherman’s jetty, past flowers, past bees, and across lily pads where the frog jumps after them all, tongue darting out after the bee, who’s chasing the crab who has its flower in one claw and Tippy’s nightdress in the other. In the forest they gain a bear, down a big hole they add a mole, a cactus patch sees a Crane join the strange procession, until finally, at the top of a mountain a goat joins in. They all seem to be following Tippy. Can you possibly guess where? Oh yes, isn’t Mama going to be surprised this time?
This sort of repetitious storytelling is beloved of children and children’s storytellers, allowing the reader to involve young minds in everything that goes on, allowing them to guess what’s next, and Carré does it perfectly, this is a genuinely enchanting tale, made all the more so by Carré’s artwork, presented in perfect colour, terracota orange for inside the house, beautiful grey blue for the night-time world outside.
On top of this there are so many clever and funny moments along the way as we follow Tippy through the night, little visual touches that give extra value and give the child something else to garner from the page, the comedy body language of the crab, the switch in page orientation as they all tumble down the whole, requiring the whole book to be turned around, but my favourite little extra comes as the mole makes an appearance…
Oh yes, moley’s in love! So sweet in a book jam packed with sweet and fun and quirky.
I loved Tippy and the Night Parade, it has the sort of charm and imagination that means I want to grab my God-son and read it to him right now, Carré’s invention in her story and the gorgeous artwork making it a joy to sit and read, to absorb, to luxuriate in.