Most kids have a special friend growing up; that go-everywhere, battered, squeezed and much-adored confidante that helps to bridge the gap between parents and independence. “Where’s Broccoli?” by local Hong Kong author Kelly Yang is all about one boy – Eliot – and his special friend, a stuffed toy broccoli.
When Eliot and Broccoli head off on their holidays to a beachside resort, disaster strikes, as Broccoli ends up bundled in a pile of laundry, far away from his best friend and feeling very lost indeed. But of course, through a series of encounters (including one with a very helpful hotel maid!), the two pals are reunited at the end of the book.
This short tale of friendship by author Kelly Yang is charming and immediately relatable to younger readers. The book is aimed at kids aged 4-9 years, however my 2.5-year-old immediately fell for it, making it the new naptime story of choice at our place! Although the story is straightforward (no major plot twists here!), the language used is wonderfully descriptive and engaging, and you find yourself rooting for Eliot and his cruciferous companion to find their way back to each other again.
The only disappointment with this book is that the wonderful images by illustrator Craig Stephens are rendered here in black and white only, something that I feels misses the opportunity to fully bring these great comic drawings – and with them the story of Eliot and Broccoli – to life. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a second edition in full colour before too long!
“Where’s Broccoli?” is published by Chameleon Press, costs a very reasonable $40 and is partially sponsored by Credit Suisse, who are making the first 2000 copies available to underprivileged kids right here in Hong Kong, in partnership with local charity Lok Sin Tong.
So whether your child’s special friend is a bear or a brassica, “Where’s Broccoli?” is a story that they’ll be sure to relate to and love!
“Where’s Broccoli” is currently available to buy online here, but keep your eye out for it in store at Bookazine very soon!