Do Not Push

Kyle Mewburn (author)

Sarah N. Anderson (illustrator)

Scholastic New Zealand, 2011

ISBN 978-1-86943-972-9

New Zealand RRP: $18.50

Show me a kid who follows every instruction to the letter and is immune to the thrill of total anarchy, and I’ll show you a kid who might not enjoy reading Do Not Push as much as I – erm, I mean, my 9 year-old son did. If for no other reason than to know what would really happen if their mum – sans inhibitions – was locked in a room with an enormous tub of chocolate ice cream.

Now Cam is a young lad with a somewhat overprotective mother, who does her best to rain on his adventurous boyish parades (yes, I know, the kind of totally outlandish motherly behaviour that you’d only find in a fiction novel). In Do Not Push Kyle Mewburn puts our unlikely hero in a rather impossible situation – right in front of a big red button labelled “Do Not Push” in the middle of an uninhabited forest.

Now, I could try and keep you in suspense as to whether he fails this test of his will but, really, it’s a no brainer for anyone who knows young boys. Luckily, the meat of the story is in what happens next. I mean, after Cam has gone through the five stages of post-disobedient behaviour: guilt, relief, confusion, realisation, and panic. But if you’re desperate to find out just what kind of mess he lands himself in as a result, then I guess you’re just going to have to head to your local book store. Of course, Cam does have the power to set things right again, in a jiffy, but if the fate of the world rested on your will to obey a sign that said “Please Pull”, and you had a Grandfather as flatulent and incorrigible as mine, what would YOU do?

With no fewer than six other Scholastic NZ books under his belt, including the award-winning Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! and Old Hu-Hu, Kyle Mewburn is no new kid on the block. Do Not Push has been well written, with a dialogue and short chapter format
that is quite suitable for the target audience (6-9 yo). And since the reader only has to wait till the end of Chapter 2 to say their first “bum”, it is bound to be a hit with the boys!

A Bug in a Book review by Scott Chambers.

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