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

There's Not One, by Jennifer Higgie

There’s not one baked bean…
there are (at least) a zillion.

The premise of this joyous new picture book is simple. Each spread states that there is not one dog/baked bean/colour and so on, showing how there are many of each things, until, at the end it announces there is not “just one of you” before declaring that this is a mistake. There is, of course, only one of ‘you’, but we are “all in it together”. This wonderful message of uniqueness is both gently humorous and uplifting, and while aimed at children will make readers of all ages smile appreciatively.

The illustrations, too, are bright and warm, using digital collage with a childlike simplicity which children will be keen to replicate. Each page has a different background colour and the text uses different fonts, including collage cut-out letters where appropriate.

A quick read, There’s Not One will withstand repeated rereadings and also offers plenty to talk about one-on-one or in group situations.

There’s Not One, by Jennifer Higgie
Scribble Books, 2016
ISBN 9781925321708