Harry Highpants, by Tony Wilson

eople in our town wear their pants at different heights.

People in town have always worn their pants at different heights. Some wear them low, some a little high and in Harry Highpants’ case, very high. But it’s not been a problem until Roy Bland decides to stand for council. He wants to see everyone wearing their pants the same way, the so-called ‘normal’ way. As the campaign progresses, the town is divided over the pants issue. Some feel that pants should be worn as the wearer feels comfortable, others are determined that everyone should be the same. Wading into this battle comes Harry Highpants, speaking for the freedom to wear pants as he wishes.

In Harry Highpants, Tom Jellett uses bright colours and humour to illustrate an important message about diversity and the challenges faced by any who would be different. The Roy Blands of this world will always find plenty of support in the push for uniformity. Hopefully, there will also be those who question and resist. The children of this town may have found Harry Highpants to be a figure of fun, his difference setting him apart, but they recognise, support and defend his right to wear his pants just how he chooses. Full colour pages, uncrowded images and an informal font allow the characters to shine as they recognise injustice and join the fight to reject Bland’s plans. The bright cover and images are attractive. Tony Wilson combines with Tom Jellett and together they tackle a serious subject with a light touch. They have produced a colourful, fun text, recommended for 3-7 year olds.

Harry Highpants, Tony Wilson, ill Tom Jellett
Omnibus Books 2007
ISBN: 9781862916036

My Yellow Blanky, by Sofie Laguna

This is Yellow Blanky. We go everywhere together.

Eevry child can relate to the experience of owning a special blanket or toy which spells security and familiarity. In My Yellow Blanky, the special item is, predictably, a yellow blanket.

The child (delightfully unnamed and of an indefinite gender) loves the blanky, especially the special smells it harbours – smells that encompass all of the child’s experiences. But, when Mum takes the blanket away for a wash, something happens to those smells.

The delightfully simple text (little over 200 words) of this title will appeal to preschool aged children and also be accessible for the beginning reader. It would be an excellent bed time story, with its gentle action and message of security.

The beautiful colour pencil illustrations of Tom Jellett complement the text perfectly – the rich pastel tones giving a warmth which echoes the story’s message.

Sofie Laguna comes from an acting background. My Yellow Blanky is her first picture book. She is also the author of Bill’s Best Day, an Omnibus Solo.

Tom Jellet has illustrated a number of children’s books, including Australia at the Beach and Fuzz, the Famous Fly

My Yellow Blanky, by Sofie Laguna, illustrated by Tom Jellett
Omnibus Books, 2002