Pea and Nut: Go for Gold! (Pea and Nut, #2)
Written & Illustrated by Matt Stanton.
Reviewed by Sandy Driessens
With bright colours, glossy water drips and two endearing characters on the cover, the second in the Pea + Nut Series, looks to be full of fun.
“This is Pea, who want to sleep in the cool. And this is Nut, keen to jump in the pool.” Yes, we’ve all met one of those characters for whom everything is a competition and Nut, the flamingo, is that character in this story. He challenges the laid-back Pea, the panda, who is happy to relax in the cool, to a race down the pool. After more provocation Pea agrees only to find that Nut bends the rules in his determination to win.
The painted illustrations in this book are so engaging. There is plenty of movement and the expressions on the characters faces and in their body language, helps the reader to identify with them. The variation between full page spreads and several images on a page emphasize the movement and water splashing. The double page spread in the centre of the book really describes the story in one image.
Rhyming text makes the story easy to read out loud, giving it the pace of a race. A change in font when the characters are speaking makes it part of the visuals and emphasizes the onomatopoeia completing the race.
Not having read the first book in this series, though I understand that it is also about competition, I believe it should be read out loud with conversation that addresses the idea of fair play. Perhaps Mat Stanton’s intention was to let little ones know that you can’t always win, but it is how you play the game that counts.
As an ABC promoted book, it will probably become well known for early years and would translate well to animation.
Harper Collins 2020