Kate Hunter (text), Lucia Masciullo (illus), A Curry for Murray, University of Queensland Press, 25 March 2015, $24.95 (hbk), 32pp., ISBN 978 0 7022 5354 6
This engaging picture book is a fun journey through a series of cooking experiences. It all starts with Molly cooking a curry for her neighbour, Mr Murray, when his wife goes into hospital. Soon other neighbours are asking for food when they hear Molly is a fine cook. She enthusiastically sets about making spinach and macaroni for Sam Maloney and pumpkin puree for baby Renee. News of her cooking prowess spreads far and wide until she is cooking for people interstate and overseas. Eventually, when Molly hurts her ankle and is unable to cook, Murray and his wife Maureen, who is now home from hospital, give Molly a lollipop in gratitude for her kindness.
Children between ages 4 to 10 will enjoy Kate Hunter’s appealing text with its alliteration and rhyming of foods to people’s names. Lucia Masciullo’s illustrations complement the text beautifully with each dish and its ingredients drawn and labelled in a simple but colourful style. Clear black text and water colour and pencil drawings stand out on the white background making this picture book attractive and easy to follow. Each scene is drawn with humour and satisfying detail and the front cover and endpapers all prepare the reader for the enjoyable reading experience ahead.
Following the success of the many current television cooking shows, A Curry for Murray will prove popular with both young children and their parents.
reviewed by Grace Nolan