Thursday, 18 November 2010

Varmints: Part One

Varmints: Part One

Written and Illustrated by Helen Ward

Published by Templar Publishing

High concept children's books are something of a rarity, mostly because what parents don't want to see in a children's book is a lot of semi-political symbolism telling them how bleak the world is and how little hope there is that it'll all be alright in the end. The very last thing children want to see in a children's book is a lot of dark imagery that is hard to describe or relate to. 

So Varmints: Part One is an oddity. On one hand, it has some delicious little moments of cuteness but on the other hand it's wrapped up in such dark colours and with such a sombre thread running through it that even the glimmer of hope at the end of this first episode (with no sign of Episode 2 or 3 seen yet), this book borders on the unapproachable. 

It's not helped by extremely dark text that merges with the dark painted illustrations, and is extremely difficult to pick out if, like me, you read books to your child at night with nothing but a night light on hand to light up the pages. 

Varmints: Part One is definitely for an older audience (though it was in the young children's book section of our library, probably by mistake) and if you've ever played the PS3 game "Flower" you might think it all feels extremely familiar too. 

Charlotte's best bit: None

Daddy's favourite bit: The fact that it reminded me of Flower. 

Rating: 1 out of 5