The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade by Davina Bell


The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade by Davina Bell

The day before the underwater fancy-dress parade, Alfie got that feeling ...Sometimes it's hard to be brave. Sometimes you get that feeling. Sometimes you're just not ready ...until, one day, you are. From a dynamic new picture-book partnership comes the story of Alfie and a big octopus wearing a tiny hat and the things you can only whisper to the cowboys on your wallpaper.


'A simple palette makes for a stunning visual effect in this gentle story of one little boy's anxiety. Beautiful illustrations and a clear and sensitive text keep the message simple ... A useful book for children who suffer with anxiety or shyness, but the gorgeous style will appeal to those with artistic eyes too.'

's March 2015 'Books We Like' 'Beautifully-written and sensitive, there's not a scrap of schmaltz in this book about the anxiety that plagues some children ... The tenderness in this story is divinely balanced with gentle pops of fluorescent colour on soft grey pages ... A considered, charming and important book for anyone struggling with throwing themselves into the vast ocean of modern day society.'

's Book Review This gorgeous picture book doesn't whack you over the head with its exploration of social anxiety, but considers a sensitive boy's feelings with empathy and subtlety ... The theme is beautifully explored and Allison Colpoys'

Alexa Dretzke Readings

Picture Books Blogger

Magpie That

for many young children, offering them comfort and relief when they need it most

Early Years Educator

Red Reading Hub

A Case for Books

The Book Sniffer

Junior Magazine

soft palette of grey, blue, white and peach

& Publishing '[A] gorgeous book ... discusses anxiety without either demonising it or fixing it with a magic wand ... sweet and tender and shiny... And any book with a penguin driving a bus is a-ok with me.

'A stunning, nature-inspired picture book on the dilemma of shyness.'

'Davina Bell and Allison Colpoy's beautifully designed picture book captures perfectly how it feels to be small and shy in a big brave world ... Anyone who knows or has been a shy child will empathise with Alfie's plight, and Bell's descriptions of his anxiety are realistic yet simple ... Exquisite ... A must-read.'

'Charming tale for any child who's less than confident about new things.'

'A gorgeous book, perfect for parents with a shy or sensitive child.'

'A distinctive and beautifully nuanced book about overcoming shyness and trying to be brave. Highly recommended.'

'Poignant ... A wonderful way to support children who feel scared about different experiences.'

About the Author

Davina Bell is a writer from Western Australia. She is the author of the award-winning picture book The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade (illustrated by Allison Colpoys), which won the 2016 Australian Book Industry Award for Best Children's Book from a Small Publisher, as well as the Alice books in the best-selling Our Australian Girl series. For six years she was a Senior Editor at Penguin Books in the Young Readers Division, where she worked with some of our country's most beloved children's book creators. Davina lives and works in Melbourne, where she still dreams about the Western Australian beaches while drinking a lot of very good Melbourne coffee. Allison Colpoys is an award-winning freelance book designer and illustrator. When she was little, Allison was obsessed with underwater worlds and wanted to be a mermaid when she grew up. She is still trying.

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 3


Davina Bell
More books by Davina Bell


Publication date

14th January 2016



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