Chook Doolan : Let's do Diwali by James Roy
Ill. by Lucinda Gifford. Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781925381597
(Age: 5-8) Recommended. Chook's real name is Simon Doolan and in each of the easy to read Chook Doolan novels, Chook has a different adventure to share with the reader. In this book, he befriends Praj and together they research Diwali as a part of the 'Festivals' topic in their classroom.
Luckily, Praj and his family have invited Chook to join them celebrating their own Diwali. He is nervous because he is not sure he will know what to do and is hesitant of crowds. As Chook says I'm just someone who's scared of things. He wants to be braver and does attend Diwali even though he has reservations. Chook gets to experience the clothing, food and music of India.
These small novels give students an interesting storyline in an easy to read format. The font is large and the pages are interspersed with Lucinda Gifford's appealing illustrations. There are 8 chapters so students can experience a novel format.
These books are very appealing to the emergent independent reader. They are similar in difficulty and look to the Billie B Brown novels by Sally Rippin. Students love to read all the books in Rippin's series and I feel confident that this will also be true for the Chook Doolan books. I am pleased there is another series that is matched to the reading ability of the younger students. James Roy is an accomplished author and his books can still tell a good tale within the bounds of a limited vocabulary.