Katerina Cruickshanks by Daniel Gray-Barnett
Author and illustrator Daniel Gray-Barnett’s debut picture book followed the marvellously eccentric eponymous Grandma Z, and his latest book, Katerina Cruickshanks, is similarly unconventional and delightful.
Katerina, a character who uses they/them pronouns, is full of high jinks, likes to cartwheel down hills, wear elaborate hats and howl at the runcible moon. But sometimes their antics can get out of hand and people get upset. Katerina’s friends vote to call it quits on the friendship, but it’s not long before they all realise life is simply not as exciting without Katerina around. They ask Katerina to join them again, but Katerina has an invitation to tour their one-person show on the Osternovian coast. Will they come back and play instead?
This book is as colourful and vibrant as its central character, with beautiful ink-and-crayon illustrations that practically burst off the page. Using charming rhyming text, it is an entertaining read-aloud that will be enjoyed by children ages 3 and up.