By Christopher Cheng
Illustrated by Lucia Masciullo
Reviewed by Mia Macrossan
Christopher Cheng has written more than 40 books for children. The recently released – Wombat, Bear and Rat, and The Imagineer have been listed in the Children’s Book Council of Australia 2022 Notable list. Lucia Masciullo has won many awards for her children’s book illustration. Born in Livorno, Italy she now lives and works on the Gold Coast. She has collaborated with several notable Australian and English writers including Sonya Hartnett in Come Down, Cat!. Together these two have created a charming new picture book for 3 to 6 year-olds.
Penny is an inventive child who loves to draw up plans, gather her tools and turn sketches and scribbles into new creations. On the day she visits her grandpa’s house she is amazed by all his gadgets and gizmos, most of them from a time few children would recognize. ‘Penny couldn’t work out what many of the bits and pieces were used for, no matter how long she investigated them. But Grandpa knew.’
This is a delightful tale where an inquisitive little girl bonds with her Grandpa. Together they explore and create, culminating in Penny’s ‘most wonderful, phantasmagorical, incredibleacious, stupendorific creation.’
Christopher has fun with words, as you can see, and Lucia has excelled herself in humorous detailed illustration.
An adult sharing this book with a child can have lots of fun talking all the amazing objects from the past that exist in Grandpa’s shed. At the back of the book are two pages labelled ‘Tools for Imagineering’ which show real life illustrations of some of the objects accompanied by a brief description.
So this is quite an informative look at how people lived as well as a delightful celebration of intergenerational bonds. Guaranteed to please and entertain both adult and child readers.