Title: Claire Malone Changes the World
Author: Nadia L. King
Illustrator: Alisa Knatko
Published: November 2019
Publisher: Dixi Books
Rating: 4.5 stars
A new generation of children… Who are not afraid of responsibilities, but who are keen to address problems and find solutions. Claire is one of them. The moment she sees the broken swing and the cracked slide in the children’s park in her neighbourhood, she decides to take action. Not surprisingly, her way of reaching a solution is an interesting and innovative one. You will love the journey of Claire, a strong and ambitious girl, so much that you will want to read this book over and over again.
It was a genuine pleasure to be acquainted with young Claire Malone, the lead protagonist of Nadia L. King’s first foray in the picture book field with, Claire Malone Changes the World. A forward thinking, inspiring and essential picture book for young children, Claire Malone Changes the World would be an asset to any home or classroom library.
There is no denying that our current generation are big change makers, they are not afraid of questioning the status quo and they will go out of their way to implement new strategies to tackle everyday problems. In Claire Malone Changes the World, we have Claire, a young girl who aspires to great things. Claire is plagued by issues in her everyday world that require urgent action, attention and change. However, Claire’s efforts have seen her neglect other areas in her personal life, which is carefully touched on in this progressive children’s picture book.
Young adult fiction novelist Nadia L. King has turned her hand to children’s picture books and it is a joy to see this talented writer branch out into this category. In Claire Malone Changes the World, the reader will find a character that they can both connect with and look up to. King has also crafted her lead in such a way that we see the flaws and difficulties this young girl experiences. It allows Claire to be a seen in a sympathetic and likeable light. I loved the addition of Claire’s sidekick, her cat Marmalade, who came to life thanks to the bubbly illustration work of Alisa Knatko.
Nadia L. King and illustrator Alisa Knatko have clearly cultivated their partnership, in this book we see the best of their worlds married together in picture book harmony. King’s measured and carefully selected prose is matched to Knatko’s vibrant pencil work drawings. Each turn of the page was a visual spectacular and I have one page I utterly fell in love with. I would love this particular page blown up to poster size to adorn my classroom walls, it is such an aspiring image!
I put my teaching hat on while I read Claire Malone Changes the World and I was able to see just how adaptive this book would be to a number of teaching areas and subjects. In fact, there are a set of accompanying teaching notes now available to readers. From health, humanities and social sciences, civics, citizenship, values and even writing, this book compounds plenty of teachable moments within the one engaging text. The focus on the influence of technology on the lives of our young people is also explored, along with the need to return to a play based environment. I loved these very subtle messages, which adds so much to this strong children’s text.
Despite that fact that I am an adult reader, I felt empowered by Claire Malone Changes the World, a children’s book that really packs a punch. I look forward to celebrating the themes and achievements of Claire Malone, both in my school setting and with my own children. We definitely need more texts of this calibre and subject matter out there in the children’s picture book sphere, well done Nadia L. King!
Claire Malone Changes the World by Nadia L. King will be published in November 2019 by Dixi Books. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Claire Malone Changes the World, Nadia L. King, visit here.
I wish to thank the author, Nadia L. King, for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Claire Malone Changes the World is book #116 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge