Reviewed by Dale Harcombe
There seems to be a trend these days for spunky female characters with a slightly acerbic wit. Tan is such a character. She and her three sisters, all named after colours, her parents and an assortment of animals move to the country. A house with an attic, it sounds like a great place for keeping an eye on the neighbourhood and for Tan setting up her world headquarters with her telescope. That is if she can find anything more interesting to watch than cows.
Then Tan, Amber, Emerald and Rose meet up with Ted, hear of the dead fox curse and are welcomed into the Purple Haunt. Suddenly Tan thinks life here might get better after all, especially when Rose develops photos which Amber claims show a ghost.
Tan’s attitude and humour comes through, in the way she speaks about her sisters and toward Amber’s dog, Doodad, who wear a bow with sequins. ‘Things with sequins belong on people not dogs. You cannot respect a dog wearing sequins.’ Anyone who ever owned a Box Brownie will smile at the comments about this now antiquated item.
The occasional black and white illustrations add to the humorous text. This book is sure to be a winner with girls around the 9 year old age group. A lot of fun to read.
Truly Tan, by Jen Storer, illustrated by Claire Robertson
ABC Books, 2012
Available from good bookstores or online.