Review Blog

Feb 21 2019

Show stopper! by Shamini Flint

cover image

Ill. by Sally Heinrich. The Susie K Diaries. Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760523701.
(Age: 7-9) Recommended. Themes: Science. Performing arts. Life skills. Problem solving. Shamini Flint's The Susie K Diaries are an engaging series with a one of a kind protagonist. Show stopper is centred around the school talent show; Susie's over-the-top mother signs her up, much to her daughter's dismay. Susie is a problem-solver, analytical, she converses with George the class fish and likes playing with Bones the skeleton. Once again, this feisty girl needs to use her scientific skills, her creativity and resolve to stand up to her mother's demands.
Susie's mother is always looking out for her daughter to be the best she can be; however, she doesn't always understand her. Stories of her mother's difficult childhood don't help with Suzie's self-confidence. With her five step plan Susie decides to identify and analyse the problem, then find and test the solution, repeating this step if necessary. Literally, she thinks of locking the hall doors and throwing away the key or maybe a fire; no that won't work. Excitement builds at school, as everyone is busy practising and counting down the two weeks until the event. Susie tests out her skills; her singing scares the birds and sets the dogs howling. Dancing with George in his glass bowl is nearly a disaster, and dancing with a group leads to a pile-up of dancers on stage. Poor Susie K. Nothing seems to work and even her classmates, teachers and family aren't able to help. Suzie's 'Eureka' moment and surprising performance make a fabulous finale. Along the way, she's helped others with their confidence and proved herself to a supportive friend.
Sally Heinrich's fun cartoon sketches add liveliness to the humorous story, with Susie K's amusing expressions, her problems solved by drawing scientific diagrams and her disastrous attempts at other talents. Shamini Flint's The Susie K Files are just right to share with Year 2-4 classes, perfect for introducing problem solving skills, for creative writing and for teaching scientific strategies.
Rhyllis Bignell

BUY IT ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries