Battle mum by Zoe Foster Blake. Illus. by Adele K. Thomas

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Just as Ana and Louis are about to sit down after a long day at school and watch a new episode of their favourite movie, Mum rushes in all dressed for action. Just five minutes she pleads wanting her children to play Battle with her. They are exhausted but are willing to give her five minutes, reminding her that she must be careful, because last time she broke the vase Dad gave her. As she parries across the couch she bangs her knee. Not to be daunted she invents a crane move to accommodate her wounded knee, and keeps them to their promise. But they become testy with her as the rules are changed and she dons new personas with different sets of skills, making it hard for them to keep up. Exasperation written all over their faces, the children put up with Mum’s battling until she begins to tickle them, breaking a rule they all agreed to. When Dad comes home, the two look to him for help, but he is definitely not helpful as he rushes to the bedroom to put on his new Battle clothing to join the fun.

Fantasy Battle has begun in earnest as the pair roams through space  firing their lasers at each other.

A laugh a minute, the sight of Mum looking in the mirror, imagining just what she looks like in her Battle gear is infectious as are her eye rolls at her children’s indifference to joining in the fun. The tables are turned in this hilarious outing for the family, as Battle is a fantasy game that Mum wants to play, much to the chagrin of the children. And just when they think Dad will help them, he becomes involved as well.

High paced fantasy illustrations will entertain the reader as they watch the antics of the children and their parents, noting the variety of fantasy creatures in the background.

Themes: Play fighting, Family.

Fran Knight