Published: 28th May 2018
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Format: Hardback Picture Book (Courtesy of the Publisher)
Harvey owned a heap of stuff, but could always use more. The ORANGE 430 was the latest and the greatest. Harvey wasn’t sure what it did, but he had to have it!
A cheeky picture book for anyone who’s bought a thingy or whatsit . . . and doesn’t quite know why. In his debut picture book, Michael Speechley explores our obsession with stuff in a fun and edifying way.
The All New Must Have Orange 430 by Michael Speechley is a picture book that is desperately needed in today’s world. With consumerism running riot, and children and adults a like falling victim to the ‘must-keep-up-with-the-Jones’ mentality day in and day out, it’s a relief to see a picture book that fills a much needed, but unnoticed gap in the market.
This book is designed to show children and adults a like that the we don’t need things to have fun, and that sometimes the all-new-must-item we have been converting and saving for and then spending way too much money on, is just a useless thing that will sit there collecting dust. I know I for one am guilty of doing just this.
Told through sepia inspired images, featuring only a mix of greys, browns, oranges and a dash of white, The All New Must Have Orange 430 is a book with a lot of layers. It speaks to the power of marketing, the impulse nature of the human psyche, desperation and mindlessness of consumerism and the need to collect things just to simply have it. The pages are filled with chaotic piles of unnecessary stuff and things, and the lack of colour gives off the bleak and over saturated world we live in a closed in feeling, illustrating just how much Harvey (the books main character) and ourselves need to break out of this devastating and unnecessary cycle.
The All New Must Have Orange 430 is the perfect educational tool for parents to explain to young, and not so young kids, about the value of money and things respectively, the dangers of rushing out and impulse buying unnecessary things. It’s a good financial training tool in that regard too, as it warns the reader of the dangers and wastage in needless and mindless spending and seeks to open the readers mind to a more imaginative and free world of creativity with what is around them. What’s more, I think its a narrative that is all too familiar to readers of all ages, young and not-so-young, who are not only guilty of doing the same thing as Harvey (the books main character), but who are probably in the process of carrying out similar actions even that week that they read the book.
The All New Must Have Orange 430 is a cleverly designed and thought out book; it seeks to challenge social norms and educate the reader on what exactly we do without thinking and the consequences that often meets. It’s the perfect educational tool to explain money and the value of things to children too.
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