Thursday, 8 November 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Series Review of You, Me and Thing by Karen McCombie

Having just read the second and third in Karen McCombie's You, Me and Thing series, I thought I'd knock up a quick review of the series.

This is aimed at a significantly younger age-range than most of the books I review here (and indeed most of the books I read), but I couldn't miss it because it's by the wonderful Karen McCombie, who doesn't write anything except brilliant books. This is no exception, featuring a great central trio, McCombie's usual engaging writing style, and absolutely beautiful black and white illustrations from Alex T Smith.

McCombie's words and Smith's pictures both capture the characters perfectly - Thing is absolutely adorable, while the main human characters of sensible Ruby and Jackson, a pleasant young boy who can just occasionally be a bit of a 'donut', interact really well together. Oh, what IS Thing? No-one really knows - even Thing itself. Ruby and next-door neighbour Jackson find it at the bottom of their garden when its old home in the wood is destroyed by builders. Described by Jackson as "A sort of troll crossed with a fairy crossed with a squirrel?", it has wings on its back (although they don't work.) It's not keen on the squirrel comparison (squirrels are mean!) and it lets the pair know this. Did I mention it can also talk to people and animals? As well, it has a habit of accidentally doing magic when it feels a bit ARRGHH! The magic, each time, goes a bit wrong which keeps leaving the pair in a bit of a bind as they're having to frantically try and put things right.

All 3 books so far are lovely. They're playful, with lots of the fun being Thing's fairly wobbly grasp of English, picked up from overhearing people in the woods, and the fabulous illustrations really add to them. They're relatively short, and would make fantastic bedtime reading for younger children, as well as being perfectly pitched for confident readers to enjoy them on their own. Highly recommended for the young and young at heart!

(Oh, and don't miss the brilliant website!)

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