Thursday 30 July 2015

Gus the Asparagus

Gus the Asparagus by Kaylene Hobson illustrated by Ann-Marie Finn (Dragon Tales Publishing)
PB RRP: $19.95
ISBN 9780992523992

Reviewed by Yvonne Mes

The Green family (made up of a selection of adorable vegetables) love their peculiar little Gus the Asparagus just the way he is. But when Gus starts school it becomes clear that Gus doesn’t quite fit in and doesn’t understand the rules. And now Gus no longer wants to go to school.

Mum takes Gus to the Doctor who diagnoses him with ‘Asparagus Syndrome’. There is relief when everyone finally understands why Gus is different, and how they are able to support him.

This is an attractive book; the illustrations by Ann-Marie Finn, featuring vegetables with googly eyes are fun and strangely endearing.

The page where the vegetables at school are having a rolling competition and Gus tries to roll lengthways made me laugh and it illustrates perfectly just how differently Gus thinks. 

This short picture book has relatable characters for those families who live with a child with Asperger’s syndrome, and especially for the child itself.

The story, inspired Kaylene Hobson’s own experiences, however, is not a story of woe, instead it uplifts and recognises and accepts the eccentricities of the asparaguses’ around us.

Yvonne Mes is a children's writer and illustrator. Her picture books, Meet Sidney Nolan (Random House) and Oliver’s Grumbles (Dragon Tales Publishing) are scheduled for release in October 2015.

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