Barnaby Bennett by Hannah Rainforth; illustrated by Ali Teo (2006)

Barnaby BennettFor my 21st birthday party I had a Rubik’s cube theme. The theory was everyone came dressed in the six colours of the Rubik’s cube and by the end of the night aimed to be dressed head-to-toe in one colour through judicious clothes trading.

Barnaby Bennett would be a star at a Rubik’s cube party because this dude decides one morning that he’s going to wear nothing but red. Clothes gathered from around the house, that fill this criteria, combine to create his ruby-coloured outfit.

The only problem is, weeks of sporting the same fine duds results in one stinky boy. The rest of the family weigh-in with offers of great colour alternatives and favourite items of clothing. Barnaby Bennett won’t budge.

“Then Nanny came by.

Her hair went all stiff.

Her nose stood on end.

Oh, the stink and the whiff.

“I’ll fix this!” she cried.

Off she went home.

She shut her front door.

She turned off the phone.”

And Nanny’s fabulous creation is enough to break Barnaby’s phase of red. Filled to the brim with wonderful words like epiphany and innovation, and kiwi gems like “bro”, this is a great book for kids of all ages.

Check out Barnaby Bennett at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Barnaby Bennett from Wheelers.

[Recommended by Rebecca – thanks Rebecca!]


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