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A cheeky new series destined for stardom, from the bestselling author of The Kensington Reptilarium.

Coco Banjo to the rescue!
Coco Banjo loves her life. She sleeps in a tiger onesie, wears her mum’s diamonds just because she can, and has dolphins and penguins for friends.

Today Coco’s planning a Yay Day of fun on her secret island home in the middle of Sydney Harbour. But wait . . . what’s that Secret Signal?

Oh no, Narianna (known as N) is being bullied! Coco sets off for school to rescue her. But when cranky school principal Miss Trample sees Coco’s school uniform (customised, thank you very much), Coco might be in even more trouble than her best friend. How will she get out of this one?


The pace is rollicking, the illustrations spot on and the humour is heartfelt yet never cruel. Nikki Gemmell has turned a very deft hand to writing and illustrating a jewel of a book that sits comfortably for the early reader as well as adults needing a reality check about how the young ones tick . . . Set out in chapter form the book is sure to encourage, entertain and delight young readers. Highly recommended.

Chris Dayman, Reading Time

Coco belongs to the larger-than-life lineage of Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking. She is wayward, daring, bold and impulsive. When it comes to restoring fairness, no challenge is too great and no solution too outrageous. I dare anyone to read this book and not feel uplifted and reinvigorated about life. Highly recommended.

Tessa Wooldridge, Reading Time

According to Miss M, this book is an absolute hoot! I have to admit, when I would watch her reading it, she would smile and laugh out loud! When I asked her about it, she said she learnt a few lessons on how to be strong! I love a good book that inspires little humans and teaches them a few lessons about how to be a better person!

Melissa Puli, twolittlehumansandme.com

In this first book, in a series to follow, we are introduced to the key characters and some of the staff and students at the school . . . many of whom we can sort of recognise from our own schools. This book is fun and the central character is kind, resilient and a good friend.

Megan Stuart, buginabook.org

N.J. has turned illustrator designer here too and she's done a great job. Coco Banjo will be a welcome addition to the modern graphic style novel for young (probably girl) readers.


These graphic novels style books are filled with heart and Coco is a fabulous character who is slightly left of centre, resilient and a creative problem solver.

Megan Daley, childrensbooksdaily.com

‘This is an absolutely delightful read and the drawings add to the humour and fun of this book.

Melinda McNaughton, creativekidstales.com.au

It was a lovely story . . . I think this book is perfect for kids aged 6 to 8. I like the way it was so creative, mixing the words and pictures together . . . Coco Banjo is a very exciting little girl, always so happy and looking great.

Camille, age 6, thekidsbookshop.com.au

This book is a fantastic example of integrated visual and text-based narratives . . . Gemmell delivers not only a fast, well-crafted story for the reader to get lost in, but she also provides the wonderful illustrations that are integral to the story . . . Coco Banjo stands out from the crowd as its content and narrative will be more appealing to younger girl readers. I am sure that boys will fall in love with this series as well.

Tony Flowers, Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

A good book . . . very entertaining.

Emily Nelson (student), Townsville Bulletin

Full of creative illustrations that highlight the text, this is the start of a terrific new series.

Rob, lamontbooks.com.au

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 1, 2015

    Random House Australia Children's

    192 pages

    RRP $17.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook


    June 1, 2015

    RHA eBooks Child

    192 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Also by N.J. Gemmell

Coco Banjo and the Super Wow Surprise
The Luna Laboratorium
Coco Banjo has been Unfriended
The Icicle Illuminarium
The Kensington Reptilarium


Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
Alice-Miranda At School 1
Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator
Midnight Jewel
Noughts & Crosses
If I Stay
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Why I Love Footy
Thirteen Reasons Why
Old School: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (BK10)
The Witches
A Semi-definitive List of Worst Nightmares
You Choose AFL: Footy Fever
Pippa's Island 1: The Beach Shack Cafe
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Juliet, Nearly a Vet collection 1
Friday Barnes 6: Danger Ahead
Library Of Souls