Book Review: Toucan Can, by Juliette MacIver, illustrated by Sarah Davis

Available in bookstores from 3 October

I cried a little the first time I read this book, it is that good. cv_toucan_canMum-of-four Juliette MacIver has channelled Dr Seuss for this carefree, happy story. I don’t know where she finds the time in her day to write, let alone to craft such a gorgeous and fun tale.

Juliette MacIver began her career as a published writer with the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Award-nominated Marmaduke Duck and the Marmalade Jam, which my 3-year-old goes through regular phases of requesting at bedtime. Her second in that series was similar, but this new book has created a new standard for picture book writers in New Zealand.

All about Toucan and his marvellous friends and family, each with improbable creatures for pets, this book tells a dancing singing story of Toucan living life to the fullest. Whether challenging kangaroo to beat him in his new kung-fu, or getting his aunts to join him in a dance-off, our can-can-doing-toucan will have you clapping along with his fun.

I love it when a publisher, in this case Gecko Press, identifies a partnership of writer and illustrator that makes perfect sense. Sarah and Juliette have worked together on both of Juliette’s previous books, very successfully, and bringing her in to draw the characters in this fun and inspiring book was a great plan. In the final pages of the book, as the dance gets ever more crowded, the use of fading is very effective to bring the main characters to the forefront.

The quality of the publication, as always, is up to an amazing standard. I have got a slight problem with dust covers on children’s books: while I personally love them and the way they make the book look and feel, my children pull them off immediately (if unsupervised) whereupon various misfortunes inevitably overcome them and they end up in tatters. But the hardback treatment is excellent, and the end-papers are beautifully illustrated.

A highly recommended read for everybody who enjoys fun. Ages 2-6 will enjoy the most.

Reviewed by Sarah Forster

Toucan Can
written by Juliette MacIver, illustrated by Sarah Davis
Published by Gecko Press
ISBN 9781877467530

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Toucan Can, by Juliette MacIver, illustrated by Sarah Davis

  1. Pingback: Summer Reading Catalogue: Children & Young Adult |

  2. Pingback: Ten years of curious, inspiring, wonderful books |

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