Review Blog

Jan 23 2017

Tracy Lacy is completely Coo-Coo Bananas by Tania Lacy

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Ill. by Danielle Donald. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760156251
(Age: 9-12) Highly recommended. Move over Wimpy Kid and Big Nate, Tracy Lacy is ready to take her place in the illustrated diary genre. With a distinctive voice, unique personality, loyal friends and a crazy family Tracy is ready to leave behind the embarrassing socially catastrophic events of primary school, survive the school holidays and begin high school as a changed person! Laugh aloud with Tracy; everything she does has hilarious consequences, she is opinionated, not afraid to share and her life is an open book.
In Grade One Tracy drew a pretty pink pony Oomphoof with a strategically placed rainbow in art class, and everywhere she went at school kids made farting noises! She led a strike in Year 3, drew goulash instead of a ghoulish picture in Year 5, she was zero on the HA-YA Scale - how awesome you are. Tracy and her best friends Ag and Ponky determine they need a self-improvement plan and spend their holidays before high school working on it.
There are constant asides, side thoughts and hilarious family memories. Tracy's Mum and her German Dad's ye 'olde worldie' wedding flashback is a highlight. There is rivalry over whose Pavlova is better, Grandma's or great grandma Gammy's. On the dance floor, Dad whirls Gammy's wheelchair in time to the music, but unfortunately, she is unresponsive. During the family photos, Tracy stretches Gammy's mouth into a smile, Dad quietly wheels their dead great grandma into the kitchen and the celebration continues.
Their annual summer holiday at Poowong, is a series of unfortunate incidents for Tracy. She meets the BOMD - boy of her dreams and knocks him unconscious with a minigolf club. She plans to reboot her life with four main goals, she must self-sensor, be a show-off free zone, she will not argue or bicker even if she is right and will listen instead of doing her own thing. Yes, nothing goes to plan, her second meeting with the BOMD involves a highly allergic reaction to Mum's revitalising face cream resulting in a sunburnt puffer fish face. She crowd surfs to the Poowong Minigolf Championships where Mum and Dad are playing in the championship round and becomes a legend. The Poowong Big Head also known as Tracy crawls out of the minigolf swamp and becomes a celebrity on social media and the news.
Danielle McDonald's expressive caricatures add fun and vitality to Tracy's diary entries. With flourishes, starry borders, bold sized text and an array of fonts, it is a visually exciting novel. Themes of self-acceptance, resilience, loyalty, puberty, coping with the transition to high school, family life, making the right choices are included with a large dash of comedy and some cringe-worthy moments to make this story enjoyable. Tania Lacy's first book Tracy Lacy is completely Coo-Coo Bananas in this new series is an enjoyable read for preteens, both girls and boys.
Rhyllis Bignell

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