P Crumble (text), Nathaniel Eckstrom (illus.), Me and Moo and Roar Too, Scholastic Australia, 1 Sept 2016, 24pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781760156930
Me and Moo and Roar Too is the sequel to Crumble and Eckstrom’s earlier Me and Moo, and is a humorous, cheerful picture book about a child’s imaginative play with appealing make-believe friends.
The earlier book is mostly about Me – the narrator who is portrayed as a small boy – and how he engages with his friend Moo, who is, of course, a cow. In this second book Me has a new friend, Roar – a lion. Whilst Roar’s games start out innocuous enough, his mischievous pranks and loud snoring later become a burden and he must be returned to the zoo.
There is an energetic, boisterous tone to this book as Roar romps from one mischievous antic to another. The illustrations are in the style of animation drawings. Whilst the text reveals the surface content of the story, the illustrations reveal the relationships between the characters and their expressive faces show their feelings, reactions and personality attributes. Me looks quite blissful at the start of the book when playing dress ups with Roar, but his expression turns to dismay and concern as Roar’s antics get out of hand. In the meantime, Moo is the sometimes forlorn and sometimes serious looking outsider.
On the last page Me pronounces that since Roar has been returned to the zoo: “Now it’s back to being just Me and Moo”. But the illustration on this last page suggests otherwise. Is there another sequel in the wings?
Reviewed by Barbara Swartz