Title: Wrestle!
By Maya Newell, Charlotte Mars and Gus Skattebol-James, illustrated by Tom Jellett
Published by Allen & Unwin
RRP: $24.99

Gus loves wrestling, and when it’s time to plan their costumes for the Mardi Gras he knows exactly what he is going to dress up as. But his Mums don’t like the idea, and when he accidentally hurts his little sister while teaching her to wrestle, his mums are upset. Gus has to find a way to combine his love for wrestling in a less confrontational way, and he does this perfectly!

When I first read this picture book, I was sure I had seen it before. And that is because I had, in a way. When Gus Skattebol-James was 10 years old, his family were part of the documentary Gayby Baby. The documentary was about growing with same-sex parents. I loved it at the time and it came back to me through this book, created by the director Maya Newell and producer Charlotte Mars and, of course, an older Gus. With illustrations by the wonderfully talented Tom Jellett, this is a wonderful book. The illustrations are full of expression and work well with the verbal narrative. It reads aloud well and would make a fitting addition to any family story time kit, adding diversity and warmth.

The end papers are worthy of a special mention. The front end papers show 27 wrestlers, all in costume and posing. The back end papers show the same wrestlers in the same pose, but in a different colour scheme and a few special additions. Check them out for yourselves!

Teachers tips can be downloaded through this link.

Many thanks to Allen & Unwin for providing this book for review.

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