PAGES Good yarns for kids

Napier Courier - - News -

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.

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