Danny Katz (text), Mitch Vane (illus.) Little Lunch: Triple the Games, Walker Books Australia, March 2018, 128pp., $12.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760650278
A tie-in to the successful ABC TV series, Triple the Games features three more stories about the children from Mrs Gonsha’s primary school class and their adventures during ‘little lunch’.
The great thing about these books is that they cover relatable terrain – school walkathons, elections for student council, etc – for the target audience in a highly entertaining way. The larger than life characters allow for humour, as do Vane’s cartoon-style illustrations. And it’s great to see genuine conflict between kids that is resolved without sacrificing relationships. A classic example of this is when the super-competitive Tamara seeks a walking buddy for the school walkathon and no one turns up. She tries to recruit last year’s buddy Melanie. But Melanie spells it out: “You were so mean to me last year. You forced me to walk faster than I could walk. Worst of all, you kept walking when I fell over even though I really hurt my knee! You and I have been best buddies since Grade Three, but when it comes to being walking buddies, I don’t think you’re the best buddy at all!” p32 Not only does Tamara apologise but the pair come up with a compromise with Melanie creating new conditions for being a walking buddy.
The success of the television series is likely to provide encouragement for new readers to discover the books; particularly as the child star’s photographs, with character names and quirks, are in the front providing a handy dramatis personae for younger readers.
Reviewed by Heather Gallagher