PAGES Good yarns for kids
I Killed Father Christmas — Anthony McGowan (Barrington Stoke, $20 reviewed by Louise Ward, Wardini Books
This small but perfectly formed book is designed to appeal to all readers, especially reluctant or dyslexic people of about seven years and up.
Its tinted and thicker paper stock, wide margins and non-squiggly, super readable font are helpful when words aren’t behaving. Jo-Jo is having a terrible time. His parents are audibly scrapping over money and their argument ends in a yell of ‘You’ve killed Christmas!’ Little Jo-Jo takes this all in and concludes it was his ambitious Christmas present list that’s tipped his parents over the edge. He comes to the childlike conclusion that it’s all his fault and that he has killed Christmas itself in the form of the big red jolly fella.
Jo-Jo goes on a mission to restore Christmas to his street and the rest of the story is one of generosity, realisation and the true, heartfelt meaning of giving gifts and celebrating community. Chris Riddell’s illustrations are magical — full of cute kids and the extraordinary light and love he conveys through his drawings.
Real Pigeons Fight Crime — Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood (Hardie Grant Egmont, $17.99)
A book about a bunch of multi-talented pigeons fighting crime in the pursuit of an unlimited supply of breadcrumbs — what’s not to love?
Rock is a master of disguise and is recruited into Grandpouter Pigeon’s crew, dedicated to solving mysteries. Their first case is to figure out why the breadcrumbs have disappeared from the park and it would appear that there is a great conspiracy at play.
This is a truly funny, clever series of tales perfect for readers of about six and up who are waiting for the next in the Bad Guys series but who aren’t quite up to reading a whole David Walliams yet. The illustrations of this completely batty, wellmeaning bunch of creatures are full of life and action and will be mesmeric to those who love a swashbuckling yarn.