Thursday, February 26, 2015

Nikki Slade Robinson as author and illustrator


Muddle & Mo by Nikki Slade Robinson (Duck Creek Press)

This is Nikki's sixth book (she also wrote one of my favourite's 'Hannah Bandana's Hair' - just because the main character has hair like mine and I've lost things in my hair too) and illustrated 60 other children's books. This little book is rather gorgeous. It reminds me a little of Rowan and Mark Sommerset's successful books.

Nikki has gone for pared back illustrations and text, with the focus on faces with lots of expression. She's used recycled paper as a backing and two illustrations on each double page spread - the duckling and the goat.

The duckling called Muddle (very appropriate name) talks to Mo the goat. First he tells Mo he's a funny colour, his beak is too hairy, he's eating the wrong foods, his wings are on his head ... Of course, you soon realise that Muddle thinks Mo is a weird looking duck and it's not until he sees a herd of goats that Muddle realises he's got it all wrong.

The story comes in a different angle from most 'accepting differences' stories. Little kids are often faced with prejudice about looking different. This clever book suggests to the reader in an underlying message to accept different species/cultures, as not everyone is the same. Let's face it - that's what makes life interesting. Read the book to find out what Mo says back to Muddle at the end.

A rather cute book that will be popular with 3-6 years old children. Teachers and parents can generate lots of discussion about accepting others/differences etc.

I'm pleased Duck Creek Press has gone back to this size format and printed it in paper back and hard back. It is practical for schools and kindies - so the books last long enough and can be read aloud in group settings. This book is sure to be popular in those settings so needs to last long!

ISBN: 1927305003 hardback $29.99 paperback $19.99

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