Danny Katz (text), Mitch Vane (illus.), Triple The Treats (Little Lunch), Black Dog Books, 1 Feb 2016, 128pp., $12.99 (pbk), ISBN: 9781925126907
Triple The Treats is set in the 15 minute break at school and looks at the big issues that children face in the playground. At least, they always seem like big issues to the characters in this book, Mrs Gonsha, the long suffering teacher, and six children: the creative catastrophiser Battie, the bossy tell-tale Debra Jo, the shy but stubborn Melanie, the sporty Tamara, the distractible Rory and my favourite – Atticus who is ‘sweet, nerdy and always hungry’. The array of characters ensures that there is at least one character with whom the readers can identify.
Triple The Treats consists of three stories: the day that Rory left his play lunch at home and does the worst thing ever; Grandparents’ Day is going to be ruined and it’s Battie’s responsibility to break the news to Mrs Gonsha; and Melanie’s attempt at fund raising for a good cause leads to the gang spending their lunch time in the classroom reflecting on the importance of respect.
The Little Lunch series is written to encourage children to read, but their parents will also enjoy reading them aloud at bed time, particularly Melanie’s cake, which, in meeting the school rules and Melanie’s personal taste, ends up with ‘no flavour, no texture and no customers.’ Parents who have tried to prepare an acceptable birthday cake for their child to take to school will enjoy the irony.
Triple The Treats is suitable for children aged four to seven.
Reviewed by Katy Gerner