Review Blog

Jul 20 2018

If I was prime minister by Beck and Robin Feiner

cover image

ABC Books, 2018. ISBN 9780733338953
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Themes: Prime ministers, Leaders. Beginning with a few words about why Australia is great, then going on to tell us about what a prime minister does and how many we have had since Federation, the book takes a corner and asks various young people what they would do if they became prime minister, the aim being that any prime minister should make Australia as good as it can be.
Each page is dedicated to displaying one child's idea of how a prime minister could make changes, and unsurprisingly they are all very similar to the aims of adults, but told in a very different way. Many of us seem to want the same things: a clean ocean, everyone to have somewhere warm and safe to sleep, a reduction of cars on the road, keep the environment safe, people to talk to each other and so on, but in the hands of children, the way to achieve these aims takes us on quite different paths.
Submarines should be used to scoop all the waste from the ocean says one, kolas should be trained to spot people doing the wrong thing n the environment, all people coming here should be given a great big hug, and a rollercoaster should be built above roads for people to get to their destination more quickly. All different, unusual, outside the box and fascinating, the ideas presented here will be sure to prompt discussion and debate.
I love the ones that show people coming together, as with one that suggests that all children should get together for a corroboree, or all immigrants should be welcomed with a hug or the last one which suggests that all leaders should be invited to bounce on a trampoline together. The images of these, especially the last one, conjure up kept me laughing for a while. All are fascinating, reflecting a child's view, reducing the concerns of many Australians to its simplest level, making the reader see that it is something that can be overcome. But what does the reader think they would do as prime minister? It is an open book.
Fran Knight

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