Posted on December 4, 2014
Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan
Rules of Summer kind of takes the old children’s adage of ‘ Step on a crack, break your grandmothers back’ and runs right into a dark room with it. No, make that a frankly terrifying post apocalyptic Daliesque land of surreal dread, though it be rather gorgeously rendered. The illustrations are amazing works of art, but you do not want to know what happens should you lose a fight for instance (hint, you may get handed over to a sinister flock of dark, dark birds in exchange for a golden crown. They will secrete you into a scary black, furnace driven monolithic flying machine and accompany it through the sky over bleak scapes). Oh, but it’s ok folks! At the end, there are rescue rules, and it’s just the wonderful imagination of little boys, flippant now about The Rules of Summer, in front of the TV, surrounded by their innocuous sketches of the land that you, the reader have just stepped from with a bit of a shiver.
There is a website for the book, which makes for an interesting read, and it is Australian, which I love. The Rules of Summer won Best Picture Book 2014 awarded by The Children’s Book Council of Australia
My Henry by Judith Kerr
From the prolific author of The Tiger Who Came For Tea comes this happy tale of a an old married couple who do not let death get in the way of their outings. Everyone thinks that granny is snoozing, but truly, she is out adventuring with her Henry (her deceased husband) amongst the lions and dinosaurs and unicorns, climbing mountains and those sorts of things. This is a very lighthearted look at love and imagination, dealing not so much with the idea of heaven, but some frolicsome place in between here and there.
Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein and illustrated by Ed Young
This book is a beautifully evocated visual explanation of the Japanese term Wabi Sabi, which is something that can’t quite be explained in words, unless they be word illustrations, by way of haiku, each haiku accompanied by it’s Japanese characters, and lovely illustrations. The book is presented in a spine facing upwards manner, stopping short of reading backwards for a western reader. It’s an attractive, educational book, pretty for a parent to read, but not necessarily much fun for a child.
linking up with #FYBF over at a With Some Grace