Chook Doolan: Rules are Rules: Book One (James Roy, illus by Lucinda Gifford, Walker Books)
Chook Doolan: Rules are Rules kicks off James Roy’s new ‘Chook Doolan’ series, which features lead character Simon ‘Chook’ Doolan—a nervous boy who wishes he could be much braver. Chook is scared to walk to school on his own until he is given the golden rule from his dad—don’t talk to anyone and you’ll stay safe. But problems arise when Chook walks by many familiar faces—Mrs Pho at the bakery, busker Eddie Two-hats and Mrs Holston, the school lollipop lady—who all get upset when Chook ignores their hellos. With the help of his best mate Joe, Chook finds a way to make amends on his walk home from school. Roy has created a likeable and familiar character in Chook, who feels like he could easily be a friend from school. Chook’s stream of consciousness is written with endearing humour, and he will be enjoyed by young boys in particular. The simple language and short chapter style of the text is well suited for emerging readers, aged five and up. Fun illustrations by Lucinda Gifford add to the book’s quirky feel.
Sarah Coull is a freelance writer, reviewer and former children’s bookseller