'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Review: Kangaroo for Christmas

Uncle Dingo sends Kathryn a large box for Christmas. And when she opens it, out hops a kangaroo — that Kathryn promptly calls Adelaide. Kathryn decides to go and visit grandma, so jumps on Adelaide's back, and off they go. And this is where it all starts to go wrong …

Adelaide gets frightened by a dog and hops faster and faster. She ends up in the middle of the street, gets hooted at by drivers, shouted at by police, hops through windows, zooms through a bakery, zips along telephone wires, and somehow gets stuck to a car. It's up to Grandma to get Kathryn and Adelaide home safely.

James Flora, the author and illustrator of this tale of mischief and mayhem, was a famous American commercial artist from the 1940s to the 1980s, who became renowned for his illustrations for Columbia and RCA Victor records in the '40s and '50s. He also wrote and illustrated seventeen books.

Not surprisingly, his style of illustration now seems quite retro, giving Kangaroo for Christmas the feel of a vintage classic — something I thoroughly enjoyed. And vintage certainly doesn't mean dated. Today's kids will still enjoy the humour and chaos captured by Flora in both words and images.

Title: Kangaroo for Christmas
Author/Illustrator: James Flora
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: November 2013
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781742972770
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book

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