Let’s face it – no one wants to hang around doing jobs if they can be out playing with their friends. Jack certainly doesn’t – especially when he’s planned to spend the whole day enjoying some new games with his mate, Thommo. So when Jack stumbles upon a way to trick his parents into thinking he’s done the chores without actually doing them it’s a win-win situation. Or is it? When Jack puts his one rule – ‘When your parents ask you to do a job – do it badly’ – into place, are Jack’s parents on to him or not? When Jack ends up sweeping the leaves off the patio with a dustpan and brush instead of the broom – which has mysteriously snapped in half – and when he ends up with toilet water all over him after suctioning the toilet because something that looks suspiciously like bits of mop sponge are blocking it, you have to wonder.
This is another delightful book from Sally Morgan and Eziekiel Kway Mullina, who have captured the trying-to-get-out-of-a-job scenario perfectly for the young reader. The writing is lively and accessible, the characters likeable and engaging and the whole story is infused with vitality and humour. The authors cleverly position the reader to see what’s coming, when Jack doesn’t, providing plenty of room for an empowering engagement with the text. Craig Smith’s inimitable illustrations are perfect for capturing the spirit of the story; they bring the characters to life superbly.
An entertaining read.
Omnibus Books, 2014
(A version of this review appears in Magpies Vol 29, Issue 3, July 2014)