Our Kid is a bit of a dreamer. Late for school again, he comes up with an amazingly imaginative series of excuses involving an elephant, dinopirates, a spaceship and some very vivid vocabulary. No wonder the teacher is impressed.
Does familiarity breed a certain blindness? Tony Ross is so much a part of the picture book scene it is perhaps easy to overlook his work. Our Kid demonstrates his mastery of the format. Picking up the traditional tale where the narrator takes the audience on an extraordinary journey challenging their disbelief – he reworks it for a young contemporary audience taking images and ideas that they themselves might use – submarines, spaceships, dinosaurs; the setting a familiar one – the lost school bag. The details are exact – our kid is a goat so his hooves get wet. The language is exciting as Ross adds to the humour with onomatopoeic vocabulary not to be found in a dictionary but which brings the text alive. His illustrations are full of energy filling each spread his bold outlines creating the drama against the clear colour wash of the background. The text is clear and precisely placed on the page inviting and readable. This is one to share; one that should send young readers “skipping straightly home…[with] their head(s) full of adventures”.