Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Hueys in "It Wasn't Me!" by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins Children's Books)

Oh dear. Here we go again. Remember I told you how disappointed Charlotte was with Oliver Jeffers' previous "Hueys" book "The New Jumper"? I tried, I implored, I begged and I pleaded but no amount of reading and re-reading could get her to love it.

Here we are with the second book featuring Jeffers' quietly engaging and funny characters "It Wasn't Me" and Charlotte still doesn't like them.

I also expected (and wanted) to love this book. Like its predecessor, there's the quietly subtle message underpinning the interaction between the (now multicoloured) Hueys. An argument breaks out, and there's lots of shouting and unpleasantness - but it takes an outside observer to ask the most important question, "what on earth was the disagreement about in the first place?"

...and - well that's it really. Perhaps again like before, Charlotte perhaps expected the in-depth hook of Jeffers' beautifully painted "Lost and Found" and "The Way Home". Perhaps she expected a bit of zany surreality, "Book Eating Boy" style. But she really couldn't get into The Hueys and I think though I was quite charmed by the first book, this seemed to be over and done with too quickly even to convey the message at its heart. Perhaps we're missing something - we'd really love to hear from folk who did pick up on what we missed, please do drop a comment below if so.

For us though - A third Hueys book? We'll pass thanks, alas.

Charlotte's best bit: Tiny glimmer of a smile at the different Huey neckties.

Daddy's favourite bit: I so wanted to like this, to love it even but it felt like it was too short and sweet to get its dinky little Huey teeth into us. Very great shame.

(Kindly sent to us for review by HarperCollins Children's Books)