Scubba by Darren Pickett
Published by JoJo Publishing
Not for the feint of heart, Scubba is a highly imaginative picture book in the tradition of Revolting Rhymes.
Though aimed at lovers of all things gross (boys aged 6-9), it even made me, a grown woman, too scared to ever pop my pimples again. If that is the objective, then it certainly hits its mark.
The strength of this unusual kids’ tale is its Roald Dahl-esque utilisation of the repulsive to entertain and terrify at the same time. ‘’Scubba’ is a boogeyman quite literally, who haunts children’s’ dreams when they need to be taught the age-old lesson of personal hygiene (i.e. don’t pick your boogeys, don’t pick your scabs etc etc).
Regardless of age, everyone can identify with the macabre joy of peeling a fresh scab but Scubba goes to elaborate effort to make children realise just how ‘gunk-glugular’ this activity really is. Gunk-glugular, in case I’d lost you, is one of Pickett’s uniquely coined-terms for all thinks ‘yuk’.
It is the unapologetic nature of the author’s imaginary vision, and the illustrator’s aptly dark characterisation of Scubba, from which this picture book derives its value. There is a universal truth in this story that will amuse and engage with its black humour. The disclaimer would be that it might not appeal to some readers’ sensibilities.
‘An imaginative and vivid tale, Scubba is a comedy/horror adventure for primary school readers who dare to enter the nightmarish world of snot, puss and scabs!
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Darren Pickett
Illustrator: Heath Mckenzie
Publisher: JoJo Publishing
Published: August 2015