As with the other titles in Sarah Garland's 'Coming and Going' series for toddlers, 'Having a Picnic' depicts a fairly ordinary scene from family life. Mum decides to take her two young children and the dog to the park for a picnic. The weather is blustery, but they manage to have a good time, even though the ducks steal some of their food!
As a parent, the thing I love most about Sarah Garland's books are the illustrations - we see a mother who isn't always neatly dressed, who often looks tired and needs frequent cups of tea, but she clearly loves her children and they are shown here muddling on together and having a great time. The text in the books is fairly undemanding - it really just describes a sequence of events - but the illustrations give plenty to discuss, and my daughter loves describing what's going on in each picture. Buyers may like to note that Dad does not make an appearance in this book, so the tale may not suit single fathers.
If you're looking for a realistic portrayal of a slice of family life to share with your toddler, then this tale comes highly recommended.
This review refers to the hardback edition of 'Having a Picnic' published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books in 2009.