Skinny Melon and me ISBN: 9780006751472
Ure, Jean, Fisher, Chris and Bailey, Peter
Published by Collins, 1996

Cherry has a new stepfather. His name is Roland Butter, and she calls him Slimey Roland. She hates everything about him, even though he is trying (too) hard to make her like him. Her friend Skinny Melon doesn't understand what the fuss is about. The story is in the form of Cherry's diary, and some chapters are Cherry's mum's letters to her best friend. So we get both sides of the story and see the two of them at odds. Slimey Roland is a vegetarian and into ecology. He is also a famous children's artist, and he writes little picture notes to Cherry, which he shoves under her door. It takes time, but after a fairly disastrous half-term with her dad and his new wife, Cherry slowly begins to admit Slimey's good points. Mum is having a baby, and there is good detail about how Cherry feels about this; also about how her parents snipe at each other. Slimey actually comes out the nicest person of all, and when Skinny Melon is upset about her mum's new boyfriend, it is Slimey who explains that the poor man is probably frightened of her. A witty, warm and truthful book.
Age: 10+