The Colouring Competition
Heath McKenzie (2020)
Oscar and Henry are in it to win it. Then they take their eyes off the prize.
Oscar learns of the colouring competition in a shop window. He is determined and wants to begin colouring immediately. Very quickly, however, he discovers that he has competition. Henry is just as determined. Their colouring takes them on a wild adventure through the park, the zoo and the city. They colour everything that stands in their way, creating hilarious scenarios of painted prams, trees, animals and buildings.
This book will have readers falling in love from the moment they lay eyes on the front cover (I did!). The illustrations are spectacular due to the expanse of black and white with vibrant splashes of colour helping to tell the story of where the boys have been. These splashes of colour also appear strategically within the black text, creating novelty and variety for the reader. Also entertaining, are the facial expressions on the characters as they vary from unaware, to shock, anger and laughter at the boys’ antics.
This is a picture story book that will be loved for different reasons depending on age and context. Young children will delight in following the colourful trail the boys make, while early primary school students will appreciate the lessons on friendship and fun. At an older level, the illustrations can be analysed in more depth by using the pictures to understand story structure and plot.
Heath McKenzie is well known for many of his author/illustrator books. You may recognise his unique style in his illustrations for Anh Do’s ‘There’s a big green frog in the toilet’ and Andy Lee’s ‘Do not open this book!’
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As a lover of books and a teacher, I read widely. Here you will find book reviews of many genres including picture story, middle grade fiction, graphic novels, women's fiction, short story anthologies, non-fiction and anything else that takes my fancy.