Friday 7 February 2014

Losing Reuben

Losing Reuben by Leonie Norrington, illustrated by Beth Norling (Omnibus Books)
PB RRP $12.99
ISBN 978-1-74299-022-4
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Reuben is part of a large family. In fact, his family is so large that his mum has to count them all when they go out so no-one gets lost or left behind. Reuben loves his mum’s counting, it makes him feel safe. And this is good as there are many things that Reuben worries about – waves, mud, crabs.
One day, on the family’s regular Saturday trip to One Mile Beach, Reuben has to face his biggest fear of all. Is he big enough and brave enough to face it?

I really like Omnibus’s Mates series. They are perfect junior novels for beginner readers with fully coloured illustrations which break up the short chapters and enhance the story. Some words are highlighted by bigger or bolder font to emphasise meaning and all the text is easy to read.

All the books in the Mates series are ‘Great Australian Yarns’ and many, like Losing Reuben, feature indigenous families or cultures.

Losing Reuben touches on very common themes for children, such as the ocean and being left behind, but also explores the concept of teetering between being a little kid and being a big kid. I think children beginning to read will relate to this book on many levels.

This is really a joyful book about growing up, being part of a happy family, and a fun day out at the beach.

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