Title: Guff
Author & Illustrator: Aaron Blabey
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia
RRP: $16.99

Many people have a Guff. That special toy you have from a very young age. This gorgeous picture book from the wonderful Aaron Blabey is the story of an unnamed girl’s favourite toy, Guff. Having had him from a young age, they have been through much together. Sometimes he gets lost, and sometimes he is naughty, but he is still loved.

Aaron Blabey has taken an item familiar to many and created a picture book that will endure the years, like Guff himself. Blabey’s full-page illustrations work beautifully with the well worked written text. This written text does not give too much away, and like all good picture books, must work with the visual narrative to convey meaning. Collage has been used throughout and adds to the visual narrative in a unique way. Colour, line and placement are important elements.

This is an absolute must for public libraries, and preschool and school libraries for younger students.

Activity Suggestions:

  • Have the children bring a photo of their favourite toy to school, or pre-school. Display around a large picture of Guff from this book.
  • Discuss the activities in the book that Guff is involved in. Have the children plan a story board of things they do with their favourite toy. They can then turn this into an illustrated story, or take photos for the illustrations.
  • Discuss the name “Guff”. Where might it have come from? Make a word cloud of the names of their children’s favourite toys.

Many thanks to Penguin Random House for supplying this book for review.