Frizzle and Me
Ellie Royce (author) and Andrew McLean (Illustrator)
Ford St: 2021
Reviewed by Viv Young
As one child’s blended rainbow family grows and grows, the roles that make everyone important for that child stay the same.
Frizzle and Me is a heart-warming, humorous story that balances its emphasis on change and stability perfectly. It is told in the first person by the child protagonist; as the family grows year by year the child unsurprisingly seeks reassurance and at every turn is met with positivity and love. This process of seeking and receiving comfort creates a familiar rhythmic refrain that means the story’s emphasis on reassurance is right at its core in the very words as you speak them, and your child anticipates them. The artworks also show the development of the family members’ roles over time which creates a subtle sense of change not only in the family make-up but also how each adult relates to the child. These layers of change and stability mean that this story always feels authentic even though the adult relationships may seem idyllic to some readers.
The artworks are a treat in many different ways. They are full of colour, action, and affection with spreads that explore the whole family’s interaction as well as the way the child relates to specific adults. The artworks also allow kids the opportunity to follow the exploits of favourite toys and furry members of the family not mentioned in the text. These extra details are sure to delight curious readers, adding humour, heart and interest.
Frizzle and Me is a beautiful story for any family wanting to emphasise connection and explore what changes and what stays the same in a family filled with love.