The All New Must Have Orange 430



The All Must Have Orange 430 by Michael Speechley
Published by Penguin Books
Published: 28 May 2018
R.R.P. $24.99



I have a confession, at first glance of this book I wasn’t enthused about it because I judged the book by its cover, this Librarian is hanging her head in shame.  Interestingly enough, when I got this book into my hands and understood what it was about – the environment, waste and consumerism – I was really excited by its concept and the ease in which it reads for school aged children.

Educators and parents will find this book appealing because it inspires children to think about what they own, and encourage them to consider needs as opposed to getting every whatsydo or thingamajig for no apparent reason.  The reader follows Harvey and the layers of waste – paper, carboard, plastic – before getting the whatsys out of the box.  In the background the effect this has on the environment is considered; all  written in a fun way that will have your child thinking outside the box and having the odd laugh or two.

I believe this book would be best read with an adult the first time as the child will no doubt have a few questions, they may not understand exactly the message the book is sharing, depending on the age of the reader.  I also think a book like this is meant to be shared between two or more people to promote discussion and change.

The illustrations are in sepia tones, with pops of orange throughout, they look vintage yet modern and detailed.  I believe they tell just as much about the story as the words which, in my opinion assist the struggling reader to put the words and their meaning together.  Given that the Author-Illustrator Michael Speechley is an Australian high school teacher I am not surprised that this book caters to different style of readers.  Also, I imagine his experience working with teenagers has meant he has seen many of the wants and must haves of thingamajigs…until the next craze or updated “Orange 430” comes along.


I think this book is unique, thought provoking and well layered.  It is my hope that children and adults will be inspired by this book, will be thankful for their thingamajigs, but also realise the value of something before making it their own, and learning to make use of what they have – just like LouLou, snuggled in the cardboard box.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book after I took the time to not judge the book by its cover.  Thank you Michael Speechley for taking us on a journey with Harvey and the Orange 430.

Thank you to Penguin books for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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