Amy Adeney (text) and Amy Calautti (illustrator), Turning Cartwheels, EK Books, February 2021, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781925820515
Amy Adeney is a former primary school teacher who has now achieved her goal of writing for children with this debut picture book. Amy Calautti has illustrated several books. Her style is fluid and relaxed creating a sense of movement perfect for this story.
Many children yearn to belong to a group, to be part of something, to show their friends that they too are capable and worthy but gaining acceptance into the chosen group is not always easy.
At school Emma is desperate to join the Cartwheel Club but Carly, the bossy girl in charge, keeps finding fault with Emma’s attempts at the perfect cartwheel. Even when she is allowed to join, she can’t do all the different variations that Carly specifies each lunchtime.
Then Emma has an idea. She starts her own lunchtime club at school, called the Can-Do Club where members can do whatever they want – swing, skip, bounce and sometimes even do cartwheels.
This little story touches on many themes in a light-hearted way and can lead to some insightful discussions about the perils and benefits of being in a group and developing independence.
Reviewed by Mia Macrossan