The Poppa Platoon in World War Chew (Danny Katz, illus by Mitch Vane, Scholastic)
‘Little Lunch’ creators Danny Katz and Mitch Vane have teamed up again in ‘The Poppa Platoon’ series, beginning with The Poppa Platoon in World War Chew. The ‘chew’ in the title refers to a particular showbag that eight-year-old Abbie desperately wants at the Royal Show. Abbie, her grandpa—‘Poppa’—and her little brother are on a mission to get the showbag, encountering large bottoms, gnarly ninjas, angry nannas, goat poo and spew along the way. Vane’s illustrations are on point, however, Katz’s war-based language—‘shrapnel shredding’, ‘shell shocking’—may be lost on the seven-plus audience and tends to trivialise the consequences of war. Katz is a renowned humourist, as his column in the Saturday Age attests, but his eagerness to produce one-liners on the back of combat jargon falls flat in this instance. Followers of Katz and Vane’s work will no doubt pick this book up. Let’s hope the next is a bit more relatable.
Katie Haydon is a former assistant editor of Books+Publishing and is completing a Grad Dip in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy