The good: Great message that everyone is different – and that’s good.
The not-so-good: My Nic doesn’t quite have the attention span for the whole book.
Why I chose it: I am a big fan of the West Coast Eagles, Nic Nat in particular.
Illustrator: Fátima Anaya
Publisher: Albert Street Books (Allen & Unwin)
Rating: 10 out of 10
Like thousands of West Australians, I am a huge fan of the West Coast Eagles AFL (Australian Football League) team and have been since I was little. Nic Naitanui (or Nic Nat as he is commonly referred to over here) is the Eagles’ brilliant ruckman, a cult figure and general lovely guy. So how could I not buy his first book? At this stage of my life, I don’t really read or review picture books but I couldn’t resist doing both for this cute book.
I also have a secondary motive for buying this book as I have my own Nic Nat in the family. He’s about 25cm tall, weighs about 30g and loves to fly and tackle. ‘Big Eagle Nic’ as he refers to himself is my budgie and I thought he might enjoy jumping on and eating the pages of a hard cover picture book of his own. Then he can stop chewing the corners and biting the middle out of my books! Unfortunately, Nic didn’t have the attention span for reading the entire book with me. He did mention that it is ‘quite cute’ and ‘Nic big Nic’ which I’m sure is high praise from a feathered friend.
The story is about little Nic’s first day at school. He’s worried that it will be strange and different, and people will think the same of him. Thanks to his mum and teacher, Nic has a good first day. He sees that others are different, from their families to what they eat for lunch, and that’s OK. Everyone is different and that makes them special. It’s a lovely story and adults will find themselves smiling too. Children will love the rhyming and there’s a little bit of Fijian to learn too. Fatima Anaya’s illustrations are gorgeous, from little Nic to the kids’ lunches at school. (I do love that Nic is wearing Eagles’ colours too). This would be a good book for children about to start school, but I think many small (and big) Eagles fans will be finding this under the tree this holiday season.