Review Blog

May 28 2017

Chook Doolan: Up and away by James Roy

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Ill. by Lucinda Gifford. Chook Doolan series. Walker Books Australia, 2017. ISBN 9781925381580
(Age: young independent reader) Recommended. Themes: Anxiety and Fear; Resilience; Flight. A Chook is another name for a 'chicken' - a flightless bird or someone that is not very brave. In this book Chook Doolan's underlying anxiety about many things, including flying, is overcome (a little) by increasing his understanding about them. An investigation into his Dad's role as a pilot and how planes are extremely unlikely to fall from the sky, gives Chook the resources to help a little girl who is struggling with her own fears. Chook shows that you don't have to be extremely brave all the time to do brave things.
This is a charming early chapter book (with large font) that will be excellent for a very young independent reader, particularly if they too deal with personal confidence issues. But all young readers will connect with Chook - he has a gentle personality and attempts things even though they might be difficult. (Note for educators: Growth mindset in operation)
Carolyn Hull

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