Hans Christian Anderson, retold by Lis Mathiasen, Judith Price (illus.), It’s Quite True!, Crotchet Quaver, 23 Feb 2017, 42pp., $24.94 (pbk), ISBN 9780994211590
An Australian henhouse is the setting for a colourful version of this classic story about tale-telling and “fake news”. Hans Christian Andersen may have been before his time?
Although it has a message to convey, the text is not didactic or preachy. The use of Twitter and Facebook are contemporary and provide social context, but may eventually date this publication (or will social media endure?) The target age-group is a little uncertain: at what age do children experience Twitter and Facebook first-hand? The answer will vary from family to family and school to school, and therefore so will the relevance of this story for young readers.
Another reservation is that the gossipy hens are all female characters. This gender imbalance does not reflect the world as we know it: the “twitterverse” has trolls and bullies of both sexes.
The vibrant and dynamic illustrations are the star of this self-published book.
Reviewed by Julie Thorndyke