Review Blog

Nov 04 2013

Don't Look Now series by Paul Jennings and Andrew Weldon

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Allen & Unwin, 2013.
Book 3: Haircut, Just A Nibble. ISBN 9781743311417.
Book 4: Hobby Farm, Seeing Red. ISBN 9781743311424.
Recommended for readers from 7-11 years. Themes: Family Life, Flight, School Life, Humour, Self-Perception, Friendship. The Don't look Now series continues with Book 3 and concludes with Book 4. Jennings and Weldon follows the highs and lows of Ricky's life as he develops his friendship with Samantha the girl next door and greatly improves his flying skills.
In the first story of Book 3 Haircut, Ricky's decision to wear Dad's old red Afro wig and spy on Samantha and her Girl Guide troop leads him into more misfortune. Ricky never seems to learn! Whilst in Just a nibble, Ricky and Dad's practice flying session in the bush finally helps in the quest for winning Samantha over. Ricky shows courage and creativity at last.
The series ends with Book 4's stories Hobby Farm and Seeing Red. Ricky's flying skills are developing and he uses them to save Samantha and her class's stuffed toy chickens from the Hobby Farm. Scaring Mandy Wong with the giant chicken suit on is a classic moment. Ricky's stinky doona even helps to save the situation. In Seeing Red Ricky and Samantha's friendship is growing, they even discuss what colours feel like including red for love. When Ricky and Samantha take a bushwalk together they face a raging bushfire and Ricky shows he truly is a hero when he saves Samantha and her guide dog Jack.
Andrew Weldon's cartoon pictures bring a depth of interest and much humour to these amusing tales. Paul Jennings once again proves he really understands the needs of his readers. These novels are recommended for readers from 7-11 years of age and are suited to students with a high interest and a low reading age.
Rhyllis Bignell

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