wonderful inclusion in Pan Macmillan’s Our Stories series celebrating
multiculturalism and bringing us some of the diverse flavours and colours of Mexico,
along with loads of other morsels.
Second graders Lucas
and Franco are excited to have their first sleepover, and it’s important to
have some ground rules and gather information in case things get a bit tricky. For
instance, does Lucas like to speak in rhyme too? What about favourite foods, and
perhaps most importantly, is he a taco-eater?
With flying cars, rhyming words, hairy spiders, colourful food, swimming,
dinosaurs, trumpet players and even some vine-swinging squashed in there, there
are certainly a lot of things we uncover through reading this book! The
characters are delightful and interesting in both their individual behaviour
and their joyful interactions.
Raphael is a poet who won a poetry slam at the tender age of twelve in the
Sydney Opera House, and his public persona has been a celebrated work in
progress for most of his life.
His remarkable energy is captured beautifully in
this book. 29 Things You Didn’t Know About Me combines some rhyme (but
the book is not all in rhyme, and the dipping in and out of this is truly wonderful)
with evocative texta-line drawings by Ethiopian-Norwegian artist Olana Janfa,
and a cheerful, large font that wanders around the short chapters with a mind
of its own.
This book checks
in broadly with issues of family, friendship and getting to know and like your
inner self, whatever that may look like. As with it’s companion book The
Very Best Doughnut, 29 Things You Didn’t Know About Me is a gem, bringing
to life as it does some of the beliefs, traditions, culture and colours of a
different world, inside the familiarity of characters we can know and relate to.
It certainly fits the brief of being a memorable, funny and diverse story on
First Nations Lands.
A fun and
exciting read that will uncover – and encourage – many ideas and wordplays for
Title: 29 Things You Didn’t Know About Me
Author: Solli Raphael
Illustrator: Olana Janfa
Publisher: Pan Macmillan $12.99
Publication Date: July 26,2022
For ages: 5+
Type: Junior Fiction