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Reviewed by Amber Cayley
Opening sentence
A treasure trove for any reader.
From crosswords to comic strips Annual 3, edited by Susan Paris and Kate De Goldi, has it all. This is a playful and clever book full of fun for people of all ages. It tosses many different texts together in one place and is truly a treasure trove of amazing literature!

If you want to read a short story, Annual 3 has it, if you want to read a poem Annual 3 has it, if you want to learn how to be a better environmentalist or cook with kai you’ve gathered or how to knit your own brains or play a game based on a camp or colour in a kakapo in a kimono, guess what... Annual 3 has it!

As soon as you see the incredible cover you know you are in for a treat! With bright, popping colours and an awesome illustration, it hooks you in from the get-go.

Having read the previous Annuals, I was excited to get my hands on the latest one and when it arrived, I ripped straight into it, hungry to explore what lay inside. I was met with hours of entertainment and got a few weird looks when I laughed at the funny stories and comics inside.

The story 'Dog Leaders' by James Brown had me laughing at the memories of when my older brother tried to start a dog walking business, the works of non-fiction, 'Thick Line of Blue' by Hanahiva Rose and 'Red Tree' by Eve Armstrong had me thinking about art in a completely new way. The funny, quirky comics scattered throughout the book are certainly a highlight of this one.

As somebody who likes reading an array of different types of texts, Annual 3 offered it all: short stories, poetry, comics, non-fiction, games, recipes and even a song.

I love having Annual 3 on my bookshelf, to just be able to pick it up, open to a random page and read from there. I can see it as the perfect coffee table book or on display in a school library calling all readers and non-readers alike. It is a break from the commitment novels require and it is certainly a boredom buster.

Not everything in Annual 3 was my cup of tea, but that is to be expected from a book with so many different components. A bonus of a book like this is that when you do come to something you don’t feel like reading, you can just flick past it to one of the many things that does catch your interest.

I would recommend Annual 3 to everybody, and in fact, I already have. It is a fun, engaging and light read for people of all ages and all abilities. There is something in it for everybody - you don’t have to be an avid reader to enjoy this colourful and entertaining collection of literature. It is a must for every bookshelf!

- Amber Cayley lives in New Plymouth.
Author & Illustrator: Edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris
Publisher: Annual Ink
Format: Paperback
Publication: 2022
Ages: All ages
Themes: Edited collection