A sneeze which reverberates – Neil Gaiman’s Chu’s Day

I’ve just read Chu’s Day which is, admittedly, shorter than I was hoping for. It is one of Neil Gaiman’s novels for younger children, in the vein of the Blueberry Girl.

When Chu, the small panda, sneezes, the world really takes notice. Except for his parents.

Although they do ask early in the story, like Coraline or Helena in Mirrormask, the parents ignore the small panda when it comes to the essential moment. Of course, if they do not, the novel  does not have its moment of crisis and the world becomes overturned, but it is a common theme in his children’s novels. As it is aimed towards a younger audience, the overturned (but not carnivalesque) world is short-lived.

Adam Rex’s illustrations are a joy and so well observed. They have a wonderful detail in them and gives the short text an extra depth. The book suggests that accidents can be overcome but it does feel slight in comparison to his other children’s books.

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