‘Flame Stands Waiting’ at The Pines Library, Templestowe 4.7.12
The Pines Library, Templestowe, is part of the Whitehorse Manningham Regional Library and I was invited to spend an hour with local children, 4 years and up to read and talk to them about my picture book ‘Flame Stands Waiting’ illustrated by Sebastian Ciaffaglione, Published by Black Dog Books, now an imprint of Walker Books Australia.
Flame Stands Waiting is the story of a carousel horse called Flame, one of only two stationary horses who stands proudly on the grand carousel at Luna Park in Melbourne. Although the story is a fictitious one, the place is real and anyone can go to Luna Park today and ride on the beautiful horse I call Flame.
After my reading and a brief talk with power point presentation photos of carousels from around the world, the 30 or so children set to work making their own carousel horses, cutting, pasting and decorating with sequins and glitter and then assembling the finished horses on to striped pipe-cleaners.
I was quite envious as I really wanted to sit and make a Flame myself but there were many little smiling faces who wanted to share with me their own carousel stories and rides and to have their photo taken.
I had a lot of fun and I hope the children did too. Thank you to Whitehorse Manningham Library staff for organising a good old fashioned school holiday activity focusing on books and reading.
Some background and reviews on the book:
Flame is a beautiful, golden carousel horse with a sad heart.
Unlike the other horses, who are designed to move up and down, Flame was built to stand still. The children choose to ride on the turning, dancing horses and Flame is left waiting.
Until one day, a little girl who has always dreamed of riding the beautiful horses comes to ride the carousel…
This is Australian picture books at their best!
— Gillian busy mothers
…a blend of social history and beautiful storytelling.
— Kids’ Book Capers
This is a book to linger over — Magpies Magazine
The story beautifully captures the power of imagination, as the spirit of both the child and horse are given freedom to soar.
— Junior Bookseller + Publisher
The muted tones of Sebastian Ciaffaglione’s soft and gentle illustrations draw the reader into a past of girls in dresses and bobby-socks, boys in shorts and braces, men in suits and women in hats. The emotion behind Fenton’s text is expanded upon in the pictures, particularly the connection between Flame and Clara.
The full-page illustrations are evocative of a bygone era, adding depth to the story and providing the opportunity to discuss memories of childhood, and the dreams we share, with a younger generation.
— Junior Bookseller and Publisher
Like Fenton’s Queenie, I cried from cover to cover, so I can only warn you! Read it first before reading it aloud.