Sunday 26 August 2018

The Duke of Hinklewinkle

The Duke of Hinklewinkle by John Phillips (Big Sky Publishing)
 PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 978-1-925675-15-3

Reviewed by Stacey Gladman

There is nothing chicken about The Duke of Hinklewinkle. The story is set in a small seaside town called Hinklewinkle where the main character - Bridget - lives. Bridget spends a lot of time with her Grandpa who breeds show chickens as a hobby, and it's something that the pair enjoy doing together. One day her Grandpa lets Bridget, who has been feeling a lonely, pick out a chicken of her own.

Bridget could have her choice of all the breeds, but in the end it's a bit of a strange looking rooster which she quickly names the Duke of Hinklewinkle. She loves her rooster, and he in turn loves her; it's a real friendship.

Grandpa's cranky old neighbour Mr Borewater also breeds chickens and he makes fun of the Duke of Hinklewinkle. But it's not long before the Duke comes to Mr Borewater's aid, helping to chase off a fox from his prized chickens.

The story is heartwarming and has a number of key themes including acceptance and learning to look beyond superficial appearances. I can see children learning a lot from this story about friendship and not judging a book by its cover.

The illustrations, also by Phillip, completed with a comic book feel, provide another  element to the story and stand out as something different than the norm.

An interesting book with a completely different subject matter which I think will appeal to children and parents alike.

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