When Hen, Duck and Goose happily set off for a picnic on a lovely day with a basket full of their favourite fruits, things don’t exactly go according to plan, thanks to a trio of sneaky rodents.
The upbeat tone of the text makes We’re Going on a Picnic! a fun book to read aloud, while the bold lines and bright colours help to draw the eye to the details in the illustrations — a good thing since observant kids are bound to be tickled by the “off-the-books” action, like my son was. If, however, you’re purely reading the book at face (or text) value — as I nearly did, since I was focusing on reading to him — you’d be as baffled as Hen, Duck and Goose, and miss the book’s sly humour entirely.
While the simple-mindedness of the domestic fowl — especially in contrast to the rascally behaviour of the rodents — does subscribe to stereotypes, perhaps there is truth in the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ since there is something admirable about how the picnic pals are not put off their splendid plans by inconveniences nor minor setbacks.