Pea and Nut go for gold! by Matt Stanton
Harper Collins, 2020. ISBN: 9780733340680.
(Ages: 4-7) Recommended. Matt Staton, author of There is a monster under my bed who farts and the Funny Kid series of books, knows how to make kids laugh. This newest picture book, featuring a chilled-out panda and a hyperactive flamingo is heavy on visual humour and full of silly fun. Pea the Panda is just chilling by the pool when she is cajoled and tricked into having a swimming race with her friend Nut the flamingo. Nut uses Pea's competitive nature to get her riled up for the race: 'Hurry up Fuzzball! You won't defeat me!' Children will laugh at Pea as she gears up for the race in her yellow bikini and settles into her blow-up flamingo: 'I may look like a sinker but under this fluff . . . is a swimmer's phy-sique made of lightning-fast stuff.'
The humour continues as the race gets wackier and wackier, with the friends upping the game each time. Nut is not swimming, he's walking! Pea uses her inflated flamingo as a blaster. Nut puts his flippers on. Pea fashions a windsurfer. But it is Nut who gets the last laugh; his pool noodles are now water skis and he flies over Pea's head to win the race.
This is a fast-paced, rollicking read that will have kids of all ages smiling and giggling with joy. A celebration of friendship and a reminder of the fun of friendly competition. Themes: Friendship, Swimming, Rhyming story.