Tag: Picture Books

The Monster at the End of This Book

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone; ill. Mike Smollin (Western Publishing Company, 1971) Little Golden Books are for the most part unreadable, yet here amongst them lies a classic. Grover, learning of the eponymous monster at the end of the book, attempts by persuasion and then fortifying illustrations to prevent the reader from turning pages.…

A Very Wombat Christmas

A Very Wombat Christmas by ‘Hachette Australia’, ill. Lachlan Creagh (Lothian, 2015) 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) 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.  

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

Lester and the Unusual Pet by Quentin Blake (Picture Lions, 1975) 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.