Book Reviews

Review: How to Find Gold by Viviane Schwarz

I was kindly sent a free copy of this book by the publisher Walker Books.  This is a fun picture book that will appeal to adults perhaps even more than kids, here is my review.

Anna wants to find gold. Crocodile says it will be dangerous and difficult. “Good” says Anna “Let’s go!”.

This fun picture book is all about a child’s imagination and is a bit shorter and wider than A4 size with thick glossy colourful pages inside. The story is a simple one, Anna wants to find gold and is determined but her friend Crocodile is the one who knows exactly how they should go about finding gold. So the two set plan and then set off on their adventure.

Although the story is about finding gold it also shows the power of a child’s imagination and at the start only Anna and Crocodile are colourful in the pictures. Anything that is related to their imagination and their imaginary world is colourful, but the rest of the ‘real’ world is grey and white. The story is a quick one to read with some great repetition in the text which kids enjoy. As expected the two go on quite an adventure and some of the pages become double page spreads of just colourful scenes with no text.

The illustrations are all fun and the imagined things such as the boat and the world they enter looks like a child’s drawing which is very fun and adds to the overall story of this being about Anna’s imagination. Although the images are fun, the story does end a bit abruptly and I was left thinking ‘Was that it?’ and not many picture books have left me with that thought.

Overall I think this is a lovely picture book, especially for adults to read with kids, and really does show a child’s imagination and the magic that can come from it, however I don’t think children will understand this point, unless an adult explains this, and taken simply as a story for children to read (which is how I try to approach books for kids) it just didn’t feel that exciting given the short ending. It really made me feel like a page or two was missing so a four rather than five starts from me.

Rating: 4/5

Review published on Goodreads,click here

Book Description:

From the award-winning picture book creator of There Are Cats in This Book comes a story of imaginative play and of two friends, Anna and Crocodile, who are on the hunt for gold. But finding gold isn’t easy. Oh no! It’s dangerous and difficult… Just what will the two friends discover? Teeming with adventurous spirit and boasting wonderfully funny dialogue, this story introduces two unforgettable characters in a gorgeous, classic new art style from Viviane Schwarz, one of the most innovative and creatively inspired picture book makers of today.


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