Ellie Sandall

Jake and Daisy the cow are the best of friends, and they like nothing better than play hide and seek. But Daisy is a very special cow; she can take on the colours of the things around her, just like a chameleon. Which makes games of hide and seek rather interesting! Jake searches high and low for his friend, to no avail. Will he ever find the elusive Daisy?

Daisy Plays Hide-and-Seek is Ellie Sandall’s second picture book, after a very convincing debut with Birdsong (which I reviewed here). This original theme of a cow with the disguising ability of a chameleon offers the prefect platform to showcase Ellie’s talent in working with colours and textures in her illustrations. Her style is beautifully delicate, and her use of colour is inspired. For instance, I love how Daisy is the same colour as the sky and sunset in the final spread:

There is plenty to entertain young audiences in this fun story. One of my daughter’s first comments on the book was that “it is fun for the reader to spot Daisy in the illustrations while Jake can’t see her because she is camouflaged”. The game of hide-and-seek is as much with the child reading the book as with Jake, drawing the audience into the adventure. The language flows really well (my daughter read it to me with ease), with lots of descriptive language. This also invites lots of discussion between child and adult reader, about the what one might encounter in the countryside. There are a lot of farm animals to spot too, and what fun to spot all the little birds popping onto the pages! Ellie Sandall obviously enjoys drawing animals and it really shows in the artwork; she surely has a natural ability for it, like Catherine Rayner.

Daisy Plays Hide-and-Seek also has an undertone of learning to be patient; Jake gets frustrated when he cannot find Daisy but he does persevere and eventually finds her.

But I think first and foremost Daisy Plays Hide-and-Seek is a lovely story of an unusual friendship and a great game of hide-and-seek. This is beautifully supported by Ellie Sandall’s unique style and is proof that she is without a doubt an illustrator to watch.

For some super Daisy inspired crafts, go and have a look at Playing by the Book!

All illustrations © Ellie Sandall.

Many thanks to Egmont for providing a review copy of “Daisy Plays Hide-and-Seek”.

Be sure to check tomorrow’s Fabulous Five post featuring Ellie’s choices!