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¿Happy Families?

Every Second Friday by Kiri Lightfoot with illustrations by Ben Galbraith
Hachette Children’s Books. Reviewed by ALEXANDRA JOHNSON

everysecondfriday.jpgThis magically illustrated book is intelligent and complete with a pointed message for kids of separated parents.

It reinforces to kids that Dad’s home is theirs too, the walls being plastered with their drawings and photographs, the Dad in the story wholeheartedly enjoying his children’s company and telling them he loves them.

Totty and Margi spend every second weekend with their father. Their Dad is an eccentric collector and his house subsequently bursting with wild and wonderful things for the kids to discover and use in imaginative games – in which their father takes part.

The trio revels in the chaos, play in the mud, listen to loud music, and rearrange the junk into a pirate ship.

The father is loveable but a little stereotyped; his house is an extraordinary bombsite and mayhem reigns. “Dad’s house is such a mess that it’s sometimes hard to find the people.”

Children will find the illustrations very absorbing. The father’s house provides the perfect canvas for Galbraith’s elaborate drawings, which are complex, bold and witty.

The story is fun and may encourage a child to embrace their second home, although this father leaves a lot to live up to.

Every Second Friday is Ben Galbraith’s second picture book, the first being Three Fishing Brothers Gruff, the winner of the 2007 Postaward.

It is Aucklander Kiri Lightfoot’s first book.

LINKS

Beattie’s Book Blog review

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Alexandra Johnson is a journalism student at Whitireia Polytechnic’s Wellington campus.