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

Sunday 4 October 2020

Review: The Goody

Older siblings have a tendency to be perfectionists, worriers and live under self-inflicted pressure. And Chirton fits this description perfectly. 

Chirton is is responsible and compliant. He eats broccoli even though he hates it and goes to bed on time despite staying up being more fun.

He cleans the rabbit hutch when his younger sister Myrtle conveniently forgets that it’s her turn. 

Their parents acknowledge his lovely nature by giving him a badge with 'Goody' on it, which he wears with pride.

On the older hand, younger sister Myrtle is everything Chirton is not. Impulsive, irresponsible and with no fear of telling their parents and babysitter exactly what she does and does not want to do, Myrtle gets away with lots. The parents have given up! No broccoli ever passes her lips, and if she doesn’t feel like cleaning the rabbit hutch, well, The Goody will always do it for her, wont he?

But being the Baddy doesn’t always work for Myrtle. She’s not invited to parties anymore. But what else can she do? She’s the Baddy and Chirton’s the Goody, so the labels have stuck and these now define them. The expectations of both children are clear.

Until one day, Chirton decides being bad comes with many benefits, and stomps on his badge.

Lauren Child’s book is a fun reflection of family dynamics. It also clearly underscores the message that kids should be allowed to experiment with the consequences of their own actions and learn to make decisions based on what’s right rather than what’s good.

Child’s illustrations follow her well-loved style and fill the page with colour and detail. I also loved that the story was about a non-white family; it’s so important for inclusiveness to begin with material for the youngest in our society.

A book for anyone with annoying siblings.

Title: The Goody
Author: Lauren Child
Illustrator: Lauren Child
Publisher: Hachette, $ 24.99
Publication Date: 8 September 2020
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781408347584
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book