This Girl That Girl by Charlotte Lance

This is this girl.

And that is that girl.

This is this girl.

And that is that girl.

This girl and that girl are very different. They dress differently. Their houses are next door to each other but very different. Their families are different in how they look and how they live. But even though they are different in so many ways, this girl and her dad, and that girl and her dad both arrive at the same place. Illustrations are blackline and watercolour, loose and colourful. As the story unfolds, the girls, set in white space, gradually fill the pages with their personalities and adventures.

This Girl, That Girl is a funny and lovely story about travelling different paths to the same destination. It’s about being different within a family as well as to others outside the family. The girls are both fully engaged with their families and their worlds (even when they are at odds with the ‘family way’ of doing things), and both are happy with their own way of living and doing. At the end of the hard work, despite their differences, the outcomes are less different than might have been expected. Great material for classroom and home discussion. The text is spare but the story rich. Recommended for pre- and early-schoolers.

This Girl, That Girl, Charlotte Lance
Allen & Unwin 2016
ISBN: 9781760291709

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller

Click Go the Shears, illustrated by Charlotte Lance

Click go the shears boys, click, click, click!
Wide is his blow and his hands move quick.
The ringer looks around and is beaten by a blow,
and curses the old snagger with the bare-bellied yeo.

This classic Australian folktale has been known and loved by generations of Australians, and has now been brought to life for a new generation through this hardcover picture book offering with illustrations by new illustrator Charlotte Lance.

Part of the Aussie Gem series, the book features shearers in multi-coloured singlets and shorts, and funky sheep with wild outfits and hairstyles. Like other books in the series, Click Go the Shears is a hard cover book with flocked sheep adding a tactile element to the cover.

A wonderful way to bring an old song into the new millennium.

Click Go the Shears (Aussie Gems)

Click Go the Shears, illustrated by Charlotte Lance
Omnibus, 2008

This book can be purchased online at Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

The Incredibly Boring Monotonous Family, by Philip Barry

Ann and Stan Monotonous were two perfectly ordinary children. They were so ordinary, in fact, that they wore their school uniform every day, even on weekends and holidays, and went to bed at the same time each night. They certainly weren’t normal like you and me. They were very ordinary, which is different from normal, because ordinary usually means dull, mundane, banal, mediocre, prosaic, plain and of course, boring. So Ann and Stan were not two perfectly normal children at all. On the contrary: they were all of those words that mean ordinary rolled into one.
The Monotonous twins were also incredibly smart children.

Things are rather dull in the Monotonous household and that’s the way they all like it. Well, that’s how they like it until it becomes clear that they don’t really know any other way to live. Ann’s hobby is watching grass grow, Stan’s is collecting twigs. Hmm. The highlight of their lives is the decision to save enough money to be the first family to study in space. Then one foggy night a fox runs in front of their car. The fox whispers in Ann’s ear and gives her a key. The key changes the lives of everyone in the family, although not quite in the way Ann initially expects.

The Incredibly Boring Monotonous Family are very, very boring. Dad’s busy with theoretical science; Mum’s busy being an accountant, and the twins are busy learning as much about numbers as they can, even when the rest of their class is learning about sport or English. There is no time for friends, no time for fun. Until the key. Each member of the family responds quite differently to the changes brought about by the key. There is a wealth of discussion material possible around their responses, but to focus on this entirely would be to miss the humour. Philip Barry writes with wit and gentle charm. He uses asides to the reader to explain concepts or words that might otherwise challenge. There are engaging line illustrations every few pages. Recommended for 9-12 yo readers.

The Incredibly Boring Monotonous Family, by Philip Barry ill Charlotte Lance
Pan Macmillan ISBN: 9780330424127