- Publication date:1 October 2020
- Format:Hardcover, Paperback
- Age guide: Younger Readers, 4+
For Colin Cockroach Goes To Caloundra
Colin Cockroach Goes To Caloundra
By Chris McKimmie
$16.95 – $24.95
Past the mountains where the dinosaurs used to roam.
Past the big pineapple. Surfin’ at the beach. Dancin’ at the disco.
Making new friends. Missing old ones.
Colin’s accidental holiday has to come to an end.
He needs to go home and find his family.
About Colin Cockroach Goes To Caloundra
Colin Cockroach flees to Caloundra to avoid the roach bomb placed by the humans from his house. After enjoying a new setting he decides to return home to his parents, who have relocated to under the sink of the house next door. With rich language including examples of alliteration, rhyming, word play, strong verbs, and fantastic variety of sentence structures, this book is an ideal mentor text for young writers all the way from Foundation to Year 6. In addition, it contains a strong message about acceptance and differences which can be compared to refugees and would also make a worthwhile addition to a Readers’ Workshop.
Anonymous Reader –
From the winner of the 2020 Picture Book of the Year Award comes a heart-warming tale of perseverance and the acceptance of others. Colin Cockroach is forced to abandon both his home and his family when the humans turn against him. How will he find his way back to happiness and enjoy himself on the journey?
Complete with abstract and engaging illustrations, Chris McKimmie’s latest picture book Colin Cockroach Goes to Caloundra hooks the reader instantaneously. Throughout the piece is a mix of interesting text placement, various fonts, subtle puns, and heavily detailed collages, all illustrated using ink, gouache, pencils, watercolours, pastels, and acrylic paint. This variety of visual techniques encourages younger children to challenge the way they read and interpret information. The art throughout the piece creates an interactive story of its own, with plenty of small details for children to point out to their guardian(s). In addition, the varied landscapes (the mountains, the big pineapple, the beach, the street, the disco, and home) all create a vivid environment in which readers can imagine themselves in Colin’s place.
But the piece’s appeal is not all visual. Its text incorporates a plethora of literary devices, such as alliteration, repetition, realistic dialogue, and sensory imagery. Coupled with such colourful storytelling, this piece is not one to be forgotten. We watch Colin Cockroach as he navigates through his upturned world alone and finds some positivity in a bad situation, ultimately returning to his new home and family rather than staying with someone he has come to love. His “accidental holiday” wasn’t anything he’d expected, leaving Colin to reflect on where home really is.
However, there is a deeper metaphorical meaning behind the veil of the piece. Clear connections can be seen between the treatment of Colin and his innocent family with those of displaced peoples and refugees living in Australia, as is implied through the illustration of Stan reading the propaganda about cockroaches in his newspaper. Furthermore, older readers are struck with the contrast between Colin’s safe “sunny Saturday morning” with that of the violent bombing of his home. Additionally, the shark being afraid of Colin similarly contrasts with Kylie’s love for him despite being a crab; Chris McKimmie expertly alludes to the prevalence of racism in today’s society whilst denouncing such behaviour. This significant focus of the text gives it strong potential to be utilised as a tool to teach children the injustice individuals still face today.