Book Review: Me Too, by Erika Geraerts, Charl Laubscher, Gatsby

Available in bookshops nationwide from 1 February 2018

cv_me_tooMe Too is a lovely little picture book about friendship.

Me Too depicts two friends as they voice their hopes for finding a someone who shares an appreciation for all the things that they value most. A someone that will go on adventures, build castles, a someone who will make dessert for breakfast or stay up late and talk. Each thing that one friend hopes to find in someone is followed by a simple ‘me too’ from the other. In those two little words we know these two friends have already found their someone.

It is obvious that this book was created by friends for friends. Friendship can be a difficult idea for young children to grasp and usually friendships begin when two people share common interests just like the two friends in this book. It is a lovely way of exploring the abstract idea of friendship for young children and could possibly spark reflection and conversation about what it means to be a friend and appreciating the friends we have.

The simple but meaningful words are paired perfectly with minimalist yet charming illustrations. The cover art really drew my attention and it’s definitely a book I would pick up in a store. I really adored how Gatsby portrayed so much emotion and character in his clean line work and muted colours.

An added extra that I enjoyed was that the two friends in this story are male and female. As an early childhood teacher I encourage children to build friendships with and develop positive views of other genders and it’s always exciting to find books that encourage this too.

Me Too is a lovely story about discovering new appreciation for your friends and how much they mean to you. It explores a sometimes difficult concept in a way children will be able to relate to through both the writing and illustrations. This book would make a great addition to any young child’s bookshelf.

Reviewed by Alana Bird

Me Too
by Erika Geraerts, Charl Laubscher, Gatsby
Published by Walker Books Australia
ISBN 9781925381900

Book review: The Brain Sucker by Glenn Wood

This book is in bookstores now

Lester Smythe is the ultimate bad guy. His clothing is black (down to his underwear), he has dim-witted henchmen, an abandoned warehouse lair, and the Darth Vader theme tune as his ringtone. Not only that…Lester has a plan. A plan to rid the world of all love, kindness and manners. How? By using the Brain Sucker: his latest and most diabolical invention.

Lester is allergic to anything good, and now no-one can stop him from changing the world forever. Or so he thinks. The evil genius would never have dreamed that three teenagers would stand up against him.

One of these three is Callum McCullock; a thirteen-year-old boy, who lives with his wonderful grandmother Rose. He has a normal life…well, as normal as your life can be when your friends are magnets for bad luck and build destructive machines in their spare time. When he, Rose and his best friend Sophie visit the city, disaster strikes. With family suddenly at risk, Callum is determined to stop Lester and save the world.

Something that impressed me when I read this book was how the author made Callum paralysed from the waist down. I don’t read many books in which the main character is disabled, but I wish I did. The Brain Sucker is a good example of the fact that you can do whatever you wish if you set your mind to it… and have a friend who can attatch engines to your wheelchair.

This book is full of fantastic scenes that use very strong imagery and great words. It put vivid pictures in my mind. Take this for example: “The shadow on the wall was of a small man with scraggly hair and a long, thin hook-shaped nose. It moves quickly through the city, stretching as its owner passed under street-lamps then shrinking as it scuttled away.”

The Brain Sucker by Glenn Wood would be suitable for children of eight years and older. I have recommended it to my younger sister, who is now enjoying it just as much as I have.

Reviewed by Tierney Reardon. Tierney also reviews for the Christchurch Kids Blog.

 The Brain Sucker
 by Glenn Wood
Published by Walker Books Australia
ISBN 9781921977633