• NZ Booklovers

Of Course You Can! Ka Taea Tonu e Koe! by Karen Hinge

This little children’s book is outstanding.

Every new entrant to a school, on the first day of attendance at ANY LEVEL, is nervous and apprehensive facing new surroundings and unknown people. This little bilingual story shows how a nervous boy is made to feel capable and able to participate in all activities over the first week at a new school. Because he is in a wheelchair he feels little confidence. This cheerful, friendly inclusive book sets up new situations faced by children who are new to school and outlines the situations for those in charge of schools.

The story shows a depth of kindness, and inclusion on all sides as classmates find ways for him to take part in all activities he is facing. The illustrations are outstanding. Somehow every expression drawn on faces is warm, positive, cheerful and friendly.

The new situations the boy faces are similar to those every child could find in a day at school. Everyone encountered, from teacher, to class mates, and groundsman, contribute to the atmosphere of support. Each challenge is overcome by a realistic solution in a positive and helpful manner. Solutions which include everyone in a fun, feel good manner.

Illustrations are clear and well matched to the story line. The expressions drawn on faces are spectacularly supportive. The clever use of two different fonts outline the two different languages on balanced pages. The text in Te Reo demands certain amount of prior Maori vocabulary but is supported by crisp English.

I would recommend this book for libraries at all levels of education. It is a lovely story, with excellent illustrations.

Reviewer: Sonia Edward

One Tree House, RRP $30.00