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Relishing a delicious double-doughnut dinner

Mark Knight, October 29, 2020 6:30PM Kids News

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Part of Mark Knight’s cartoon. media_cameraPart of Mark Knight’s cartoon.


Reading level: green

Following a second wave of coronavirus, Melbourne endured a Stage 4 lockdown that went for 112 days. That’s 16 weeks or 4 months.

Most things were closed. Restaurants, shops, schools, offices, gyms, businesses, places of worship. Restrictions on movement such as the 5km radius from your home and the ‘Ring of Steel’, which was effectively a hard border between city and country.

If you drove down any of the major shopping strips, arterial* roads or highways it felt like you were in one of those apocalyptic* movies about the end of the world! It looked a bit like Pyongyang in North Korea, but it was our Marvellous Melbourne!

We even saw our beloved AFL Grand Final played in Brisbane! The Tigers won back-to-back Premierships, which under Covid protocols is not really safe distancing, but no fines were issued.

Fortunately the lockdown did succeed in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and we watched as the daily infection rate gradually fell until the city reached its intended target of a 5-case 14-day average.

After a few hesitations and delays by Premier Dan it was announced that Melbourne would start the gradual process of reopening. At the same time Victoria recorded 2 days in a row of zero new infections and deaths from the virus. You could hear the face-masked muffled whoops and safely distanced high fives throughout the state.

I thought I should draw a cartoon about the reopening and the relief felt by people. Melbourne is known for its restaurants so I thought I would depict a joyous scene as people sat at their local eatery enjoying a meal and being out for the first time in months.

But the drawing needed a punchline, and I wondered what I could say about this happy event without being negative?

Premier Dan came to my rescue. He had a little celebration when the news came through about our two days of zero cases. He posted a picture of himself on Instagram holding up two doughnuts, which represented the zero-new-case achievement. Double doughnuts was how he referred to the daily new case achievement.

media_cameraVictorian Premier Daniel Andrews celebrates zero new cases with a doughnut.

Bingo! I had my idea!

I started drawing a typical Melbourne Italian Ristorante. Couples are eating at tables out on the footpath, wine glasses in their hands, a waitress is bringing out plates of delicious gnocchi carbonara* and tagliatelle alla formaggio* for diners. These little details in the drawing are important to help set the scene. Smiling faces all round as well.

Now I add in the punchline, the contrasting image. We look inside the restaurant to a table in the window where a seated Premier Dan is smiling too. His meal, though, is not a tasty Italian pasta but two doughnuts, which he is holding up proudly. A diner outside looks in and is amazed that this gent has chosen to eat two doughnuts instead of the more culinary* delights on offer from the menu. He must be crazy?

But we know that these two doughnuts represent the zero cases of coronavirus infections Victoria has achieved and to the Premier that must taste like absolute gold!

Mark Knight’s cartoon. Right click to open in new tab and view full size. media_cameraMark Knight’s cartoon. Right click to open in new tab and view full size.


  • arterial: main, with a lot of traffic
  • apocalyptic: like the end of the world
  • gnocchi carbonara: pasta with cream sauce
  • tagliatelle alla formaggio: pasta with cheese sauce
  • culinary: meant as fancy or gourmet


Wanting the Premier to hit the right target

No one wants to fall onto the snapping crocodiles

Tough battle ahead for state of disaster


  1. What did Daniel Andrews order?
  2. Why did Mark Knight draw Daniel Andrews ordering this?
  3. Which city is the cartoon set in?
  4. Why were restaurants closed?
  5. How many plates is the waiter carrying?


1. Caption it!
Cartoonists such as Mark Knight are so skilled they can convey a lot of complex information in one or a series of drawings without the need for many or any words.

However, Mark’s cartoon was drawn with an adult audience in mind and he knows that most people who look at it will also have read and watched a lot of news stories on the subject.

Read Mark’s explanation of what the cartoon means again and write two, three or four short sentences, just to make sure you understand what the cartoon is saying.

Using your sentences to help you, write a caption for the cartoon or some more thought or speech bubbles that will make Mark’s meaning clearer for children or people who haven’t been reading the news this week.

Time: allow at least 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Humanities, Visual Arts, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
Look through the most recent stories on Kids News and choose one to draw a cartoon about.

Use Mark’s three-step process to get started:

1. What is my subject?

2. What do I want to say about this issue?

3. How do I say it? Do I use visual metaphors (an image that the viewer is meant to understand as a symbol for something else.), multiple panels or symbolism (when one idea, feeling or emotion is represented by something else such as a: picture, character, colour or object)?

Time: allow at least 40 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Humanities, Visual Arts, Critical and Creative Thinking

Describe It
Look at the cartoon and make a list of 5 nouns that you see. Then describe those 5 nouns with 5 adjectives.

Be specific and add where those nouns using prepositions and another noun.

Now choose your favourite bundle and put all the words together to make one descriptive sentence.

HAVE YOUR SAY: If you were Daniel Andrews, what meal would you have ordered?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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