‘The clubs epidemic breaks out in March like a giant nit plague. It spreads through our class ‘til practically everyone’s infected. Not me. I must be inoculated.’
Lolly has a divine teacher called Ms Love. She has a cat called Laughing Stock but he won’t qualify her for membership of the Kitten Club. The Harry Potter Club excludes girls, the Lego Club’s too violent and she’s disdainful of the Barbie Club beauty contests. In this story Lolly narrates her search for a Club to truly belong to.
Book of the Year & Picture Book of the Year
NZ Post Book Awards 2005:
LIANZA Russell Clark Award for Illustration
Spectrum Print Award for Typography.
Billy Button, one of Lolly’s classmates from Room 7, can’t keep his mouth shut or his emotions under control. It makes preparation for the annual Pet and Produce Day a nightmare. Not only that: Room 7 is full of over-achievers, teacher’s pets and anarchists – and worse, Billy has to wrestle with the community judges’ arcane and endless rigid rules. Billy’s imagination and his Pet and Produce Day projects run riot, and so do the events of A & P Day – just the way Ms Love likes things to go: ‘not with a whimper, but a bang!’
When Uncle Jack appears everything happens. On Fridays he arrives in his pork-pie hat and gumboots ready for fish ’n’ chips and adventure. He is Peter Pan, Robin Hook and Attila the Honey. He’s a story-teller, a collector, a trickster, an adventurer and a magician - The Great Jackarooney.
Uncle Jack is an anarchic and unexpected celebration of a child’s imagination. Uncle Jack and his friends invent fabulous worlds, indulge their passions, and revel in the intimate rituals of family life.
Uncle Jack is about the worlds children create. The story plays with the language, imagery and memories of children’s literature and the riotous nature of children’s imaginations. Like the text, the drawings are layered and evocative. They follow Uncle Jack as he experiments with the mysterious, the sinister, and a return to the comforts of the familiar. Uncle Jack offers children and their parents the delights of the arcane, a bit of a scare and an occasion to celebrate what it means to be an individual.