I've Broken My Bum by Dawn McMillan
Last year, a Scottish grandmother's reading of I Need A New Bum became a viral hit. The New Zealand best-selling book turned into an international hit too - with the US version selling out, and Scholastic UK rushing an edition out before Christmas.
Fortunately, Thames author Dawn McMillan already had a sequel on the go.
I've Broken My Bum follows the popular young boy from the first book as he deals with a bum that breaks into pieces. From falling to pieces when he falls off his bike, to getting stuck in a tray as he is making repairs, the book puts the poor lad in a number of outrageous situations. His newly-fixed bum is great for sliding down hills, surfing big waves, and other booty-full fun and games. Now all his friends want one too.
With a simple, although sometimes slightly clunky, rhyming text, the story has good rhythm. It's a fun book to read aloud, although not as polished as the first book. While the narrative doesn't seem as strong as the first book either, it's true audience - children - will lap it up. While touted as a sequel, the book also stands for itself.
Auckland illustrator Ross Kinnaird lends his artistic flair to this book as well. His pictures are full of action and emotion - the double spread of the parents trying to 'help' is a particular delight.
The book's design is also well thought out, with specific words highlighted through colour, font and style.
While it doesn't quite live up to the hype of the first in the series, I've Broken My Bum will have little readers cracking up. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and that's okay.
Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser
Oratia, RRP $19.99