Blabey once again deals with an embarrassing, uncomfortable issue that we've all had at one time or another and reminds us that a good belly laugh makes just about any topic picture book worthy! Although we hope that poor Lou doesn't laugh too hard until he's had time to do his do.
I don't know how Blabey continues to put out such consistently good, fun (and often award winning) books. He has his Pig the Pug seven deadly sins series (we're up to book 5 out of 7) and the Bad Guys early readers with episode five due out next month.
Then there are his stand alone titles including Sunday Chutney, Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley, Stanley Paste, Thelma the Unicorn, Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas, I Need A Hug and Don't Call Me Bear just to name a few.
I Need A Hug is the seemingly simple, repetitive tale of an echidna who needs a hug. But she's has a body full of prickly spiky needles. We all need affection and this book can be fun to read aloud with toddlers as you cuddle up together.
This is not my favourite Blabey as the echidna comes across as a being rather needy. I'm also not sure that I agree with her difficulty in respecting the others physical boundaries when they say 'no'. And don't get me started on the snake who wants a kiss!
However I have yet to try this book out on it's target audience.
Don't Call Me Bear has a more aggressive edge than Blabey's other books as Warren the koala tries to convince everyone that he is NOT a bear! Warren's frustration levels build as he tells us all, using some well known teaching tactics, that Australia has no bears, none whatsoever. Warren's teaching style may be a tad OTT, but via a quick history and biology lesson we learn a lot about koalas.
This is rhyming humour with a lot of attitude for an older audience. The illustrations are signature Blabey and the reader learns a lot about the various characteristics of bears and marsupials by the end of the book.
Aaron Blabey lives in the Blue Mountains with his wife and children. After reading his bio, you get the idea that he is one of those types with a lot of creative energy to burn.
I hope this little Blabey-fest has convinced you to try out some of his picture books on the younger members of your tribe. I feel confident that laughter and cries of 'again, again' will ensue.