Chloe Jasmine Harris
Walker Books, 2022
32pp., pbk., RRP $A16.99
Henry Turnip, the panda, is very wary about change particularly to his routine because he likes to be able to predict what will happen so he can cope with it. He eats the same breakfast every day and has seven pairs of blue striped overalls, one for each day of the week.
He finds school noisy and the busyness of it overwhelming at times so he tends to be on the sidelines observing rather than participating in the rough and tumble. That is until Reuben Moon arrives…
In an environment that seems to appreciate and celebrate extroverts, it is tricky to be an introvert so this story will appeal to those who tend to keep themselves to themselves – and they will recognise Henry’s aloofness for the shyness it is. But even the introverted have to operate in society and so Reuben’s encouragement for Henry to be a bit braver, a bit more confident may open doors to adventure and fun for those kids as it did for Henry. Perhaps they too will learn about the joy of jumping into a mud puddle! especially when they realise that everyone else is so busy having their own fun, they’re not taking all that much notice of them.
Friendships form for many reasons and operate in many ways, but they are best when each acknowledges the differences but appreciates them too – we can all learn from each other.