Review Blog

Sep 27 2017

Opposite Land by Charlotte Rose Hamlyn

cover image

Random House Australia, 2017. ISBN 9780143780816
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Themes: Friendship; Graphic Novels; Opposites; Fantasy; Humour. Written by Charlotte Rose Hamlyn (a former Adelaide girl, who has worked as a screenwriter for many children's cartoons, as well as presenting a TV Art program for children), this is a graphic novel with incredibly quirky characters and plot direction. The central character - a girl called Steve - has had a disastrous day at her new school when she makes a mistake in choosing who to befriend. When she debriefs to her mother at the end of the school day an unpleasant day spirals into an argument. (Dare I suggest it - they have opposite views!) An opposite book written by her grandfather is shared, and it draws Steve to the eponymous Opposite Land where 'socks wear feet, broccoli is meat, behind is ahead, and people poop from their head!' Steve proceeds to save the un-saveable from the Emperor Never, and learn some important truths along the way.
Hamlyn's illustrations are exceptionally quirky, and the humour is quite clever as the 'opposites' interact with Steve and the reader in confusing ways. Younger readers will like the odd drawings, and slightly older readers will appreciate the 'clever' interpretation of an 'opposite world'.
Although graphic novels are not my personal favourites, I can see the place for this book for a cartoon-loving reader.
Recommended for ages 8-12 years.
Carolyn Hull

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