Reviewed by David Ashworth
A young troll named Moll decides to leave her pet pug puppy Pete in the care of her Uncle Boll whilst she goes to work one day. Knowing her uncle’s appetites, Moll prepares the house with wall to wall snacks but gives him a strict warning before she leaves…”DON’T EAT PETE!”. Desperate to appease his niece, Boll proceeds to eat everything in sight but can he resist “small and sweet” Pete?
In this debut story by Sue Walker we follow Uncle Boll as he struggles between keeping his promise to his niece Moll and his animal/troll urges to chow down on his furry little charge… but can he keep his word?
As I mentioned, this is the debut children’s book from author Sue Walker, however it feels like she is an old pro at writing children’s stories. With a clear grasp on her subject matter, message and incredible use of rhyming couplets, Sue Walker’s Don’t Eat Pete is an absolute delight to read and even has a clever little twist at the end which will delight children and adults alike.
Despite not having a clear moral to the story, Don’t Eat Pete is a fun little romp through the internal struggle of a lovable blue troll as he navigates his eating disorder and his familial obligations. To be totally honest though, the ambiguity regarding the message this book sends is quite refreshing, by which I mean I read lots of books with my kids aged between 2 and 9 years old and to find a book which is just fun and silly without having to make them think too much makes a wonderful change for me and them. They can just enjoy reading without having to overanalyse.
As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed this book and my kids did too. It is wonderfully illustrated by Carlo Beranek, who has worked with a veritable A-Z of publishers from Auzou to Yoyo, Ok, so maybe more like A to Y but the unmistakable style is present throughout this story and perfectly complements the tone and pace of the narrative. Each page is artistically marvellous, with bright and appealing characters and superb visuals that just make me want more and more from this duo of author Sue Walker and illustrator Carlo Beranek.
All I can say about this book is it’s a surprisingly tasty treat from a wonderful debut author, with delicious illustrations that you can really sink your teeth into, just try not to choke on the surprise twist at the end. This book will leave you hungry for more and I can’t wait to see what’s next on the menu from Sue Walker. If you have children, buy it now!
RRP: £7.99 (Paperback)