Tomoko Ohmura, Line up, please!, Gecko Press, October 2014 (2009), $NZ 19.99(pbk), unpaged, ISBN 978-1-877579-99-8
Why would different species line up behind each other? Perhaps this is a story about Noah and the flood? A bird flies over all the animals and tweets, “line up here please,” looking down at a notice The Line Starts Here. Frog is number fifty. “What’s everyone waiting for? Let’s go and see…” Frog lines up behind gecko, mouse, mole, flying squirrel, squirrel, turtle, guinea pig, weasel, hedgehog, rabbit, armadillo, skunk, porcupine (turn the page)…All 50 of them are told to stay in line until “we’re ready to start.” Now as any class of children who are asked to line up know, good etiquette is not always the name of the game. Skunk farts, a jumping contest breaks out, some get too squashed together, little joey kangaroo wants to go now! (although we are not too sure what the going is) whilst Hyena plays “Peek-a-boo.” Why are they all lining up? Well, it is fair to say they will, as the saying goes, go for a whale of a ride! Nothing like taking a class to a theme park (with a difference)! Quirky humour, a lovely doubled-double page spread (paper engineering and all that) and a playfully fantastic storyline will make this popular, originally Japanese, picture book take off!
reviewed by John McKenzie