Sunday 1 September 2013

Unique Una

Unique Una (Little Mates) by Susannah McFarlane, illustrated by Lachlan Creagh (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $4.99
ISBN 978-1-74283-739-0
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Unique Una is the next title in the Australian alphabet series by Susanna McFarlane. Una is a caterpillar who is unhappy about others criticising her unconventional behaviour.  But through her Uncle Umberto she learns to accept her uniqueness and love for the unusual. And then one day, after the great unzipping of her cacoon, Una becomes a beautiful Ulysses butterfly.

I love the message this story holds; everyone is special. Just be true to yourself. At the end the book we’re asked ‘What about you? Are you utterly unique too?’

As with the other books in this series, the alliteration is fabulous. And Una’s assortment of possessions, her ukulele, her unconventional umbrella and her collection of ugg books lend a real quirkiness to this tale. The humour and tongue twisting sentences make it fun to read and the Australian nature of the text and illustrations add to the originality of the series.

The illustrations are bright, fun and detailed with so much going on, making the book perfect for young children to explore by themselves without the text.

At under $5 a book, this is a fantastic series to collect. When all 26 are lined up on the shelf, an image forms along their spine.

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