Hark It‘s Me, Ruby Lee! (Lisa Shanahan, illus by Binny Talib, Lothian)
This light-hearted, lesson-filled picture book from Lisa Shanahan (author of Bear and Chook and Big Pet Day) perfectly matches Binny Talib’s simple-yet-vivid illustrations. Talib uses specific shades of blue, yellow, red and green to create a childlike uniformity that complements the story of a bold young girl who entertains her vivid imagination at school, getting herself and her friend in trouble. Ruby wants the special job of Messenger in her classroom, despite having a habit of being easily distracted by her imagined adventures. In the end she realises that there are many other things she can do in the classroom that are better suited to her skills. The story is told with humour and quirkiness, and is full of Ruby’s thoughts and discussions with her friend George, who is a great moral support. It will be particularly relatable for readers in kindergarten and early primary school. It will also be a confidence-booster for children who might feel like they don’t quite fit in or that they aren’t good enough at a particular task, telling them not to worry because everyone has different strengths and weaknesses—a lesson that could be valuable to some parents as well.
Christina Copeland is completing her work experience at Books+Publishing, while attempting to balance overachieving at school with figuring out next year’s VCE