Review Blog

Jun 22 2018

The all new must have Orange 430 by Michael Speechley

cover image

Penguin, 2018. ISBN 9780143788973
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Themes: Consumerism, Toys. Michael Speechley's debut picture book "The All New Must Have Orange 430" introduces young children to consumerism, it demonstrates that you don't need to have the latest toy to have fun. In our world today, we are bombarded with advertising, children covet the latest electronic device, toy or fashion clothing. Speechley's message is powerfully illustrated in dark, layered backgrounds with sepia toned images featuring a moody mix of brown, grey, orange and white.
Harvey's desire for the all new ORANGE 430 is driven by marketing in a magazine, the toy is on sale and of course they won't last at the discounted price. He searches everywhere to come up with money and finds some interesting things like false teeth, Lego and the remote control as well. He passes billboards with interesting messages and finally arrives at the small shop filled with other useless objects.
Harvey's expressions as he experiments with his new toy are wonderful, amazement, surprise and contemplation, even LouLou the cat seems scared of it. Taking his toy back proves frustrating and along he rushes off to join a long queue of unhappy young customers at the Useless Object International offices. The young boy asks the other children and adults, 'could you do anything with your objects?'
Tipping out the useless toys and playing with the boxes proves to be a fun and happy time, hopscotch, box boat races and building box towers. Harvey's message is potent, he's only going to save for useful stuff from now on, much to the disgust of Mr Ripoff president of the UIO factory. Even LouLou the cat finds a special use for the Orange 430 box, it makes a comfy bed.
"The All New Must Have Orange 430" picture book provides an important insight for families and for classes into the effects of advertising and consumerism in our world. Take time to observe the signs, the labels on the stuff in the background and discuss the difference between needs and wants, the importance of financial responsibility and the effects of advertising. Speechley's important messages are equally relevant to children, teenagers and adults living in today's society.
Rhyllis Bignell

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