Frizzle and Me
Ford Street, 2021
32pp., pbk., RRP $A16.95
In the beginning, there was just Mummy and me. But over time the family grows to be Mummy, Jani, David, Elizabeth, Frizzle and me, And even though the relationships between them are less than conventional, they still do and share the most important things so each is surrounded by love and has what they need to be happy.
This is a charming story that celebrates the diversity of relationships that make up families and households these days, demonstrating that there is a much stronger glue holding them together than an official certificate. So many readers will delight in reading about a family like theirs that is not the usual nuclear model of mum, dad and kids. Ellie Royce has honed on those special connections that are important to a child and the adults around them and the shared love oozes from Andrew McLean’s pictures.
Just five years ago, I wrote a blog post about the placement of such books in the collection after a teacher in the US shared one and found his job in jeopardy and I was prompted to approach the exec at the school I was at to get their stance about being informed if I chose a similar route (they managed to avoid the discussion and I never got a response so went ahead anyway). Now, I wouldn’t hesitate to promote it, although some schools might need to be sensitive to their particular demographic given a recent discussion of The Pout-Pout Fish in a NSW TL forum. There are so many stories from those whose lives have been changed because they finally read a story about a kid like them so at last they felt normal that IMO, these sorts of books need to be promoted and shared. Who knows who we will touch by doing so?