Walker Books, April 2019, 80 pp., $27.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781403687858
Quentin Blake, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Rosen, Anthony Browne, Julia Donaldson, Malorie Blackman, Chris Riddell, Lauren Child.
Naturally we are not the only ones to celebrate our creators of extraordinary children’s books and this compilation is a real treat. The above authors, who have all been such familiar names for us all as we share amazing stories for children, have all been UK laureates. Their contributions to the world of children’s books are completely inspiring and now they share their thoughts, ideas and processes with children, in the hope of encouraging the next generation of outstanding authors and illustrators.
Each noteworthy person offers a personal insight into the creative process with sketches, tips, suggestions and techniques.
This is a beautiful volume filled with colour and life and wonderful insights. If you are looking to provide your young readers with some encouragement to pursue their own creative pursuits this will be a super addition to your ‘arsenal’.
Of course, there is also the opportunity to further explore the works of each contributor – so many of whom are considered ‘legend’.
I fear my own bookshelves are going to need some expansion as I think this is another one that I cannot let go. I’m perfectly sure you will feel the same when you pick it up.
Highly recommended for any lover of children’s literature.
ISBN 10: 0008264082
Imprint: HarperCollins – GB
Sometimes I surprise myself. When I started reading this two nights ago I got halfway through and thought how enjoyable it is and that it reminds me so much of the marvellous Ronald Searle and his Nigel Molesworth books (albeit with far less anarchy), which I absolutely adored as a kid. Then lo and behold I finish the book last night and find two pages where Lauren Child thanks the friend who introduced her to the aforementioned and how they inspired the style of the book!
Hubert Horatio is one of the most highly intelligent children you will ever come across. He is also extremely gifted in many skills (let’s ignore such as tree-climbing and ikebana) but he is not in the least precocious. He is well-mannered, thoughtful, caring and above all, responsible which is extremely fortunate because his fabulously wealthy parents are complete twits who wouldn’t know responsible behaviour if they fell over it.
This first in the series comprehensively introduces us not only to HH but his extended family (on both sides) and also his secret place –the almost vacant lot next door where he is building a magnificent tree-house and having currant bun fights with his nemesis. But disaster is about to befall – the long-standing ‘For Sale’ sign on the collapsed house and yard has been replaced with a bold ‘Sold’. What will happen to Horatio’s special place now? Especially as he not yet save the wherewithal to buy the place himself – drama could be in store!
This is great fun and beautifully presented with, of course Lauren Child’s distinctive illustrations – busy woman!
Highly recommended for readers from around seven years upwards.
Harper Collins Australia
ISBN 10: 0008289360
List Price: 39.99 AUD
On a similar note to the previous post about re-invigorating classics for today’s children, what about this absolutely stunning edition of Mary Poppins which will tie in beautifully with the upcoming movie.
Lauren Child’s instantly recognisable style gives this glorious and magical story exactly the right lift needed to engage today’s readers. The story endures of course, as is witnessed by the large number of children who love the original movie, but to read it themselves with the joy of these lively drawings will make it practically perfect in every way. And it is astonishing to realise just how long ago the first book was published – 1934!! – with the last in the series released in 1988.
It is one of those glamorous quarto sized books which seem even more special as a gift and naturally with Christmas coming up it would delight any child receiving it as a present.
For us Queenslanders, who can claim Pamela Travers (born Helen Lyndon Goff) as our very own, this is even more special and with both the new movie plus the recent Saving Mr Banks interest in this extraordinary woman has been renewed.
What more is there to say about such a superb book? My copy has gone to a very special little girl whom I hope will treasure it and love its world of magic.
Highly recommended for all who want their children to grow up with a sense of true magic.
So about a week or so before I finished my last job (a month ago now) one of my favourite girls, Miss Georgia from Year 6, followed me into the library one morning, her face aglow. “Oh Ms Warren – I just finished reading the BEST book!” Yes, it was this one. I freely admitted I had not yet read a Ruby Redfort book – probably because due to Year 4/5/6 girls they were NEVER on the shelves! I did tell her however I was expecting this one in my next review parcel so have finally finished it. Being quite a bit longer than some I undertake and only reading at night the last week or so I had to just restrain myself to a few chapters each session.
All that being said once I got into the swing of it I did enjoy it. Ruby is kind of the girl equivalent of Alex Rider (in fact, I suggested AR to Georgia and she was onto the last couple for the holidays, having eaten them up!). Ruby is a bit mouthy and a bit of a loose cannon but has found herself due to her uncanny ability to solve puzzles and codes working for Spectrum as an undercover agent. This is gumshoe detective genre updated and uses quite a lot of the terminology, especially given Ruby’s and her friends’ propensity for crime shows. The villains are almost as comic book as those in Batman with perhaps a touch more evil added.
I think what I particularly like about this book is the absolutely stunning code. I’m no mathematician, as many can attest, but I can appreciate the ‘neatness’ of this particular cryptic puzzle.
Not really much need to ‘sell’ this one because I know it will be a hot favourite in any library. If you have already bought the hardback, I suggest you double up with this paperback – apparently there is no such thing as TOO much Ruby Redfort! Georgia, you were quite correct – it’s a great read!