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Mr Glue Book Review : Halibut Jackson by David Lucas

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This book is so beautifully illustrated that when I read it first with my children, I wanted to wrench it out of their hands, tear all the pages out and stick them all over the kitchen walls. I decided that was probably setting a bad example of some sort, so I desisted. We did read the book an awful lot though.

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As I’m sure you know, a halibut takes protective cover, fading into its surroundings. (I confess I didn’t until some well-informed child told me.) Halibut Jackson is desperately shy and does his best to fade into the background.

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Luckily he is a bit of a whizz on the tailoring front and makes outfits that can help him fade into everything. One day he gets an invitation to a party at the palace. This is a socially terrifying prospect and so as usual he makes an outfit that will help him to fade into the background. What he didn’t realise was that it was a garden party, and so the outfit in question makes him stand out massively. And everyone is bowled over by it: they all want an outfit made by Halibut Jackson. Halibut becomes designer extraordinaire with a wonderful shop full of enthusiastic customers. He has plenty of friends and a job that he loves, and even though he is still shy, it doesn’t seem to matter so much.

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In a world that seems to be very much all about success being reserved for extroverts, this is a wonderful story to say that being an introvert can be great too. Equally, if you are that shy person who would rather just stay indoors, if you take your courage in your hands, surprising things can happen! I understand that book reviewers are supposed to let their readers know what age group a children’s book is for. The Mr Glue Book Review however is firmly of the opinion that a good book is a good book for everyone, and this one definitely is that. It certainly left me with a nice warm glow!

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