Review – What’s the Matter, Aunty May?

Our wee little man is a helpful lad. He loves to help his Aunty May clean her stunning house, teetering with priceless antiques and tidyness, by sweeping, polishing and washing up – antique cups and vases, naturellement. But alas, it seems our little one is a tad clumsy, a smidge over-eager, teensy bit of a klutz.

Whilst Aunty May plucks at a harp in le salon, our lad sets about poking holes in screen doors with long-handled brooms, soaking the cat in red ink, sucking the budgie into the vacuum cleaner and causing a book avalanche. Poor Aunty May’s world is turned upside down and by the end of the book, she – and her house – a right schemozzle.

Can a little bit of help actually be a hindrance?

Author Peter Friend has penned a hilarious tale, in rhyming text, that will make kids shiny-eyed with amusement. Illustrations by Andrew Joyner take this already rollicking story to even greater heights with his truly divine, retro-inspired illustrations that a pure eye-candy.

The looks on Aunty May’s face, the nonchalance on the face of a little boy who really means well, the scrumptious detail like the shattered-and-glued plates on the rack in the kitchen that imply rather consistent well-meant aide – this is a book resplendent with cartoonish hilarity, whilst still packing scrumptious literary punch.

With somewhat Seussy undertones, in terms of the rhyming text and outrageous happenings – floods, avalanches, Aunty May caught in the ceiling fan – What’s the Matter Aunty May? is a must for picture book lovers – and is a truly beautiful all-rounder of a production. . . something we’ve come to expect from Little Hare.

What’s the Matter, Aunty May? is published by Little Hare.

Published by

Tania McCartney

Tania McCartney is an author of children's books and adult non-fiction. Recent books include Riley and the Grumpy Wombat: A journey around Melbourne, and Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline. She's also an editor, publisher and founder of Kids Book Review.