Tag: Picture Books

Great Day For Up

Great Day For Up

by Dr. Seuss; ill. Quentin Blake (Random House, 1974)

Dr Seuss_Great Day For Up

The first Dr Seuss book not illustrated by the man himself, Great Day For Up was brought to life instead by the redoubtable — and equally inimitable — Quentin Blake. The rhythm is slippery at times but the book verily fizzes with joyous exuberance.



A Very Wombat Christmas

A Very Wombat Christmas

by ‘Hachette Australia’, ill. Lachlan Creagh (Lothian, 2015)

Creagh_A Very Wombat Christmas

Creagh’s illustrations are lush and playful but it is unsurprising that no-one was willing to put their name to the text of this poetically dire Australian ‘Night Before Christmas’ pastiche.


Rhyming couplets are great

but DeVito and Schwarzenegger do not Twins make.


The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo

by Julia Donaldson, ill. Axel Scheffler (Macmillan, 1999)

Donaldson_Scheffler_The Gruffalo

The rhyming couplets don’t always flow, but the word and plot repetitions are effective and Scheffler’s illustrations bring a bright, magical cheeriness to what otherwise might be an anxious tale of a mouse living off its wits in the deep, dark wood.


Ten Apples Up On Top

Ten Apples Up On Top

by Theo LeSieg [aka Dr Seuss], illustrated by Roy McKie (Collins, 1961)

LeSieg_Ten Apples Up On Top

A lion, tiger and dog give each other a lesson in counting (and outrageous one-upmanship) when they compete to see who can balance the most apples on their heads. This rambunctious story has stayed with beginner readers well into their adult years.


42 Word Retrospective: Lester and the Unusual Pet by Quentin Blake

Lester and the Unusual Pet

by Quentin Blake (Picture Lions, 1975)

Blake_Lester and the Unusual Pet

Known for illustrating other people’s books (most notably Roald Dahl’s), Quentin Blake also writes many himself. Lester and the Unusual Pet showcases his understated absurdism — Salvador Dalí for children, almost — in a joyous, freewheeling, lazy afternoon paean to young imaginations running rife.