I Don’t Like Koala by Sean Ferrell
Published by Scholastic Australia
I have to admit I didn’t like the look of, I Don’t like Koala when it first came into my hands. The child is a little…well, let’s just say I thought of Chucky when I looked into his eyes, and the koala is less than inviting and cuddly. But with the words ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ ringing through my head I picked up Sean Ferrell’s interesting looking picture book and took to my comfy reading chair. The outcome….Brilliant! I have now read and re-read this book more times than I can count.
Did you have a toy that you were convinced came to life at night when you were fast asleep? One that’s eyes followed you around the room. Koala is that toy. Well, that’s what Sean Ferrell’s story convincingly leads us to believe.
Adam appears to be a happy boy. Excited about the gift hidden within he tears the ribbon from the box only to find Koala. ‘Adam does not like Koala’ sets a very strong tone. ‘Adam puts Koala away. Away is a lot of different places.' And so the adventure begins to rid himself of this unwanted stuffed nuisance.
He desperately tries to convince his parents how much he dislikes Koala. After all something that is terrible terrible must, in fact, be terrible. Right? His parents won’t listen, so it is up to Adam to solve the problem.
Koala is stuffed into a pot, shoved under the sofa, discarded in the hamper, crammed into a handbag. Much to Adam’s horror Koala always ends up back by Adams side.
The final straw and my favourite scene in the book is between Adam and his father. ‘You must have loved your snack. You ate every bite.’ ‘What snack?’ Adam looks puzzled. In the background, we see Koala lying on the table next to the empty plate.
That’s it as far as Adam is concerned and ‘He takes Koala on a long, long walk’ which at first is cleverly disguised by Charles Santoso’s illustrations as an outdoor expedition. There is a little hint as ‘They walk around the rocks’ that all is not as it appears.
This book is both funny and entertaining. Adam’s expressions are priceless and tell most of the story. Koala keeps the same eerie expression throughout the book although we are led to believe he has a darker side.
Charles Santoso’s uses space to create suspense. His simple yet detailed illustrations are genius.
You will laugh out loud at the illustrations and be hypnotised into reading it again and again. I still think that Koala is a little creepy but he is endearing. You’ll love the twist at the end.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Sean Ferrell
Illustrator: Charles Santoso
Title: I Don’t Like Koala
Publisher: Koala Books for Scholastic Australia
Published: April 2015