Jonathan’s father was sweeping the floor
When all of a sudden …
‘Not scary, Jonathan.’
Jonathan loves to dress up. He loves to jump out and surprise people. He has some great costumes. But one after another the members of his family declare that he is ‘not scary’. Jonathan feels like giving up, but as he walks away in defeat, he encounters a dinosaur. Together they plan the best ‘scare’ of all. And it works a treat! Illustrations are pencil and soft watercolour and depict a suburban neighbourhood. Images are set in white paper, keeping the focus on the characters. Endpapers with soft green stripes also show Jonathan first in disappointment then in renewed good humour.
‘Jonathan’ is a very spare rhyming text, and the story would be familiar one to many families. As the family go about their daily tasks and activities, Jonathan appears to mostly entertain himself. Occasionally he appears in his new costume (made from items easily found in most homes) to try to scare them (to start a game?). The illustrations convey Jonathan’s emotions clearly, his growing disappointment at his lack of ability to engage his mother, father or sister. When all seems lost, and things seem to be out of his control, he is able to rally and plan the best trick of all. Recommended for pre- and early-schoolers.
Jonathan, Peter Carnavas ill Amanda Francey New Frontier Publishing 2014 ISBN: 9781921928611
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller