Title: Sunday Chutney
Author: Aaron Blabey
Illustrated by: Aaron Blabey
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Themes: Being Different, Being the New Kid in the School, Children’s Emotions, Things I Like, Things I don’t like, Self Understanding, Imagination, Self Confidence, Lonliness
Sunday Chutney is the second book by Aaron Blabey, the author and illustrator behind the book “Pearl Barley and Charley Parsley” and was Shortlisted for the 2007 CBC Awards for, Book of the Year: Early Childhood and Chrichton Award for New Illustrators.
Aaron’s quickly becoming one of my favourite Australian children’s authors alongside Stephen Michael King and Shaun Tan, this book (his second) tells a short and simple story of a remarkable young girl, Sunday Chutney. Aaron’s books are simple stories told well and with illustrations that are simply beautiful and really humerous.
Sunday travels around lots, her parents’ work has them move from town to town, and incidentally from country to country regularly. Moving around lots means that she’s found it hard to make new friends, perpetually being the new kid in the class at school.
Sunday’s imagination is very wild and vivid, she’s learned to cope with her loneliness by learning to express herself and to delve into her imagination. You may be forgiven to think that she doesn’t mind being alone, or moving lots, after all she does look like a happy girl, but as you get to know her you begin to become aware that all isn’t exactly what it seems.
I think we’d all know someone like Sunday, you know… big imagination, erratic, fun, a bit of a loner. I think many of us would have experienced being the “new kid” whether it be at school, scouts, youth group, church, work, soccer club or being the new kid in a new neighbourhood.
Which is why Sunday chutney is such a special book, it’s simple, beautifully illustrated, wonderfully creative but extremely grounded, Sunday really exists… somewhere. Somewhere deep down we all may know someone like Sunday, perhaps you are a little like Sunday yourself?
And, wouldn’t we all love to have a place, a home, a family to which we belong?
Or… perhaps we’d love a Monster Truck?