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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Ah Choo! by Angela Walker

Max is thrilled when Jun from Japan moves in next door, but when Jun sneezes, Max searches for someone to play with who sneezes like him.

However, he soon finds that Fleur from France, Misha from Russia, Koa from Aotearoa, Laura from Norway, Pri from Sri Lanka and Anja from Germany all sneeze differently.

Max soon discovers that friends can be the same but different too.

This was a fun book, highlighting the little-known fact that different cultures have different ways of sneezing. While some might assume that 'Ah Choo' is universal, each culture has its own unique sneeze word.

I was a little worried that the book might be a gross-fest, but rest assured, there is not a booger in sight. Instead, author Angela Walker focuses solely on the linguistics of sneezing.

She used this fact to write a story that helps children understand and value diversity. It's short and sharp, straight to the point while having some fun along the way.

Illustrator Ross Hamilton highlights diversity within the pages too, while harking back to the playgrounds of our past - wooden playgrounds, bikes with no helmets, giant cardboard forts. His characters are all unique with their own style.

Ah Choo takes an interesting fact to build a story that celebrates diversity, inclusion and friendship in an authentic way.

Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell

Bateman Books


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