Me Too (Erika Geraerts & Charls Laubscher, illus by Gatsby, Walker Books)
In this debut picture book, two children dream aloud about the best friend they hope to meet one day. As they describe the many admirable traits of this mysterious someone, such as bravery and a willingness to serve dessert for breakfast, the two of them respond to each other’s suggestions with the repeated refrain ‘Me too’. By the story’s end, it is clear that our hero and heroine have already met their best friend in each another. Me Too is a sweet, whimsical offering from Erika Geraerts and Charl Laubscher. First-time illustrator Andrew Murray’s cartoon-style drawings of the two children are clean and expressive, punctuated by flashes of block colour and sometimes juxtaposed against painterly swirls. While the creators have missed opportunities to make this work more inclusive and creative, Me Too is a very cute book. The simple story is suitable for children in kindergarten and early primary school who have a fondness for stories about friends. Published in an attractive hardback format, it would make an ideal present for an adult to share with their own best friend on a special occasion, or even as a Valentine’s Day gift.
Bronte Coates is the digital content coordinator for Readings bookshop and manager of the Readings Prizes