Review Blog

May 25 2020

The colouring competition by Heath McKenzie

cover image

Scholastic, 2020. ISBN: 9781760158859.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. As Oscar walks along the street with his mother, he spies an advertisement for a colouring competition. First prize is a three wheeled bicycle, so Mum gets an entry form and they go to the park to begin colouring. Here colours begin to appear on each page as Oscar colours in the sheet provided, but he is so intent on his work that he fails to notice Henry nearby doing exactly the same thing. Colouring soon becomes a competition between the two boys and colour spreads from their pages onto the trees behind them, Mum sitting on the bench, the pram, the baby, the swans on the lake and the couple sitting nearby. They go next door to the zoo where the crayons are put to good use, colouring the animals and the cages. Onto the street market the crayons are used to colour the vendors and the produce displayed for sale, the shoppers and even the dog. They colour their way along the busy street, and wind their way amongst the buildings, until they find a large church edifice to colour adding motifs usually not related to a building. They meet their friends who are looking a little displeased with their coloured faces and clothes, when a young girl rides past on her brand new three wheeled bicycle. They had forgotten the competition! They retrace their steps to find her winning entry on the shop window but a surprise waits for them on the next shop window - another competition.
McKenzie's quirky sense of humour wins the day as he plays with the idea of competition, showing the boys competing for the prize in the competition. The wonderful pencil illustrations, from the end papers with their intriguing set of terraced houses, to each of the pages between are a treat, ensuring readers will lap up each small detail. I love the range of things in the shop windows, and the humour behind the names of the shops. The Folded Corner tickled my fancy. The colour in the boys' world creeps into everything they see - a wonderful theme for all to aspire to. And for those who do not want the magic to end, McKenzie's website has a marvellous concoction of goodies to explore. Themes: Colours, Colouring, Competition, Friendship, Family.
Fran Knight

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