Showing posts with label picture books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label picture books. Show all posts

Friday, 5 October 2018

The Puffin Book of Summer Stories

The Puffin Book of Summer Stories (Puffin Books) HB RRP $29.99 ISBN 9780143793540

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Featuring eight favourite picture book stories by well-loved Australian authors, this beautifully presented, heavy (and thick) collection makes an ideal gift, especially with Christmas coming up.

The classic books included are: Summer by June Factor and Alison Lester; Max by Marc Martin; Grandpa and Thomas by Pamela Allen; Castles by Allan Baillie and Caroline Magerl; My Hippopotamus is on our Caravan Roof Getting Sunburnt by Hazel Edwards and Deborah Niland; Seadog by Claire Saxby and Tom Jellett; There’s a Sea in My Bedroom by Margaret Wild and Jane Tanner, and Eve and Elly by Mike Dumbleton and Laura Wood.

All the stories feature the outdoors, mostly by the sea, and all are set out so that the reader can appreciate the wide variety of story-telling and illustrations. What a wonderful diversity of artwork there is, from Alison Lester’s detailed wash and pen pictures of an Australian family indoors and out on Christmas Day to Pamela Allen’s watercolour pictures with lots of white space with a grandfather and boy enjoying the seaside. After Allen’s pages come full-page very colourful pictures of a huge hippopotamus, so familiar to young readers, eating cake, this time while on family holiday. This contrasts with the more delicate colours with wash and line of Caroline Magerl’s rendering of a fanciful and imaginative story of a girl and boy creating a magical story on the beach and in the sea. Then there’s the realistic, beautifully realised beach illustrations by the equally talented Jane Tanner in Margaret Wild’s story where a boy imagines a sea in his bedroom.

There are so many excellent illustrations in this multi-story book which is sure to become a family favourite to be read and re-read by children aged 6 to 11 years, who will, no doubt, hand the book onto their children in the future.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Colourful Memories

Colourful Memories by Catherine Bauer, illustrated by Kathleen O’Hagan (Wombat Books) PB RRP $16.99  ISBN 9781925563429

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Colourful Memories is a beautiful picture book that highlights the life of a gentleman who migrated from Germany to Australia after World War II. Moments from his past were captured on film and are now revealed to his young grand-daughter, Charlie, in the black and white photographs they’ve found in an old box.

Charlie questions her opa about the lack of colour in his pictures. This prompts him to recall some of the colour in those past moments, revealing both good and bad memories. Snapshots of a happy childhood and loving family are remembered with fondness and warmth, and glimpses of poverty and war are described in a soft and tasteful way. The superb pencil illustrations complement the story well, displaying the colour Opa remembers. Throughout the story Charlie has questions and comments about Opa’s photos. Later Opa encourages Charlie to visualise colourful memories of her own.

Written in the third person, Colourful Memories is a lovely story embracing both the past and the present. It reminds people, young and old, that while photographs are great reminders of moments in time, colourful memories are made every day. These memories are kept inside you and can be shared with loved ones whenever you choose. This book is suitable for children aged 5+, especially those who are starting to ask questions about their parents and grandparents’ younger days. Colourful Memories would also be a great addition to the primary classroom and used as a conversation starter about war and immigration.