Review Blog

Dec 10 2019

The big blue hullabaloo by Andrea Smith

cover image

Illus. by Aleksandra Szmidt. Little Steps Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9781925839432. hbk.
(Age : 3-6) Annie is a very cute little koala who lives at the zoo. She loves to race high through the tree tops and balance butterflies on the tip of her nose. Then one day she feels blue and Keeper Carl races her off to the hospital. There Dr Rosie diagnoses her with leukameia and it is disease that is making her blue. She has treatment and her hair falls out ("I really don't like being a Koals bare!"), but a friend Lottie who also knows all about leukameia, helps her cope.
This is a special and warm way of telling children about leukameia, its effects and treatment. From information in the dedication, the reader will learn that the author Andrea Smith, has battled with leukameia herself. It is obvious that she is in a unique position to write this story which is positive and informative.
Children will love the pictures of Annie and are sure to get a giggle out of the huge mustache and beard on Keeper Carl. The caring nature of Lottie is very evident from her actions portrayed in the drawings and kids will enjoy watching Annie and Lottie's progress and final discarding of their knitted hats as they both feel better.
This would be a very helpful picture book to have in a school library or classroom to gently inform children about leukameia and its effects and that it is a disease that threatens koalas as well as people.
Pat Pledger

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