Oliver’s illustrations are lovely, except for the ginger-haired child with what I can only describe as a pink phallic object on his forehead which appears in every depiction of him. What the hell is it? Perhaps I should just say what we’re all thinking – dickhead. It’s a perfect representation, no? Did the editor not notice this . . . appendage before printing? I mean, it’s kind of obvious. Is it some sort of unique Australian thing of which I’m unaware?
As for the story, The Great Paper Caper introduces the idea of crime to children using animals. We investigate the theft of trees, arrest the culprit and give him a fair trial. We empathize with the bear ‘criminal’ and his situation; a desire to follow the family tradition to win the paper plane competition as the generations before him did. Restitution is then demanded which was happily given by planting new trees to replace the ones stolen, and all is forgiven.
I feel like I should like this picture book more. Sadly, upon finishing I was just left cold. I’m not sure why.