Dear Donald a good bit of fun
Dear Donald Trump — Sophie Siers, illustrated by Anne Villeneuve (Millwood Press, $27.95) reviewed by Louise Ward, Wardini Books
What timely genius is this? Award winning Hawke’s Bay author Sophie Siers is perfectly on trend with this picture book for anyone from four and up.
Young Sam is getting a bit ticked off about sharing a bedroom with his brother (who apparently fits Mr President’s description of an undesirable person). He becomes interested in building a wall, and begins to write the letters that form the book.
Sam’s letters detail his daily struggles — the bright screen of a cell phone at night, unauthorised taking of Sam’s Star Wars destroyer. Building a wall in his room looks very attractive. Both parents state a categorical no.
The letters develop nicely with the chronicling of parental negotiation, a visit to Gran’s in which the room of one’s own is trialled (not as cool as Sam thought) and conciliatory talks. Recurrent jokes are genuinely funny, describing family dynamics.
Anne Villeneuve’s illustrations are lively — colourful portraits of Sam and the gang interspersed with sepiatoned vignettes of a tousle-haired blonde fella.
Dear Donald Trump is a light look at negotiating and coming to reasonable conclusions. In an age where young people have never been so engaged in politics it works on several levels. It’s a useful analogy for warring siblings or friends, and a bit of fun for the rest of us.