Chook Doolan: The tiny guitar by James Roy

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Ill. by Lucinda Gifford. Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781922244963
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Another book in the delightful Chook Doolan series, finds Chook worried about his friend Eddie Two-hats who usually busks on a corner that he passes on his way to school. Eddie has told him that he won't eat if he doesn't busk, so Chook is dismayed when Eddie is taken away in an ambulance and is afraid that he will lose his spot on the corner. Chook's dad has just brought him back a ukulele and Chook decides that he will learn how to play it and look after Eddie's corner while he is away.
Chook is such a caring boy. Although he is the first to admit that he is scared about lots of things and that's why his nickname is Chook, his worry about his friend is paramount as he tries to learn to play the ukulele and even though he is fearful about playing in front of an audience he is determined to keep Eddie's corner for him.
Gifford's illustrations are a delight and the reader is drawn into the humour and horror of the noise that Chook makes as he tries to figure out the notes. The expressions on the faces of the family are priceless and the appearance of Joe, wearing a disguise of a hat and sunglasses is hilarious. However it is the compassion that Chook feels for his friend and his determination to help him that makes this story a stand out.
It is ideal for the young emerging reader and would also be a good quick read aloud in the classroom or at bedtime.
Pat Pledger