Colfer, Eoin: Anna Liza and the Happy Practice (Little Gems).
Anna Liza and the Happy Practice (Little Gems)
Illustrated by Matt Robertson
Barrington Stoke, 2016, pp104, 6.99 [pounds sterling]
978 1 78112 559 5
Readers owe a debt of gratitude to writers--in this case to Eoin Colfer--for his life-enhancing writing, of which this is a brilliant example. Anna Liza's mum is a psychiatrist and in an attempt to complement her mother's work, Anna Liza sets herself the task of cheering up the people in her mother's waiting room. Her main tactic is her 17 Knock Knock jokes, a selection of which can be found inside the front cover. Anna Liza tries all her cheer up strategies on Edward without success. He was the 'saddest person she had ever seen': he tells her that since his mum left, his dad is sad and feels his life isn't going anywhere. Anna Liza comes up with a literal and hilarious solution to this difficulty.
While this book tackles serious issues, the goal is achieved with a characteristic light touch, enhanced by Matt Robertson's softly coloured, sensitive illustrations. Produced to a high standard in child and dyslexia-friendly format, this is highly recommended for emerging readers.