JJ and Sammy

I think Malorie Blackman would like these two picture books by Odette Elliott. They feature small family dramas, of the everyday kind. What makes them ‘different’ is that they are about black families. That shouldn’t make them stand out, but as there are still not enough such books, they do.

They are published by Tamarind, the imprint that publishes black and other ‘foreign’ minority books. It’s good that they do, but I don’t know why you need a special publisher for non-white books. It’s like clothes in larger sizes. They have to be bought from separate shops. Enough with this discrimination!

Rant over.

Odette Elliott and Patrice Aggs, My Big Brother JJ

My Big Brother JJ is about Jasmine and her big brother, as JJ finds out what it’s like to be a mother. Their mum still has her job to go to when it’s half term, so JJ is in charge. And that is hard work. A few hours is fine, but the whole week?

Anyway, JJ rises to the challenge, and arranges all sorts of activities for Jasmine. And to finish the week with a big statement for their mother, they… Well, let’s say they have a few mishaps on the road to family happiness, and ‘horrid, horrid’ words are uttered.

Odette Elliott and Georgina McIntyre, Sammy Goes Flying

In Sammy Goes Flying, little Sammy’s older siblings get to go on an exciting school trip. He wants to go too, so to stop the tears, his parents arrange for a special Sammy day out. This involves his Grandma and a balloon.

Sammy really does get to fly, and after a while neither he nor Teddy are scared. And they have something to tell the three older children when they get home.

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