My School Project: family, friends and furry creatures (Tom Gates #12)

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Liz Pichon, My School Project: family, friends and furry creatures (Tom Gates #12),  Scholastic Australia, 1 June 2017,  272pp.,  $16.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781743816523

This is an interesting book for newly independent readers – full of drawings, doodling and different fonts, it’s an alternate form of storytelling. The narrator is Tom Gates, and this is his scrapbook and school project. Tom and his classmates are doing an assignment on their family trees and Tom needs to do some research on his, though he’d rather not. But encouraged by his mum and dad, Tom finds out all kinds of things he never knew about his family and friends.

Although this is a thick book at 272 pages, it will be easily digestible for middle and upper primary readers as the text is broken up by lots of black and white illustrations, which help move the story along. The text itself varies in size and font and is a visual clue to conveying mood and tone of voice. Conversations are often accompanied by small faces of the speakers, showing how each is feeling as the conversation progresses.

This is a very well designed book which is sure to be enjoyed by younger readers, and should be well used in primary school and public libraries.

Reviewed by Rebecca Kemble

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