Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pumpkin Moon by Tim Preston and Simon Bartram (Templar Publishing)

An odd book this, and it's one of those rare cases where I wish I could split the scores for illustration and text into two categories.

Simon Bartram's illustrations are utterly sublime. We've previously reviewed 'Dougal's Deep Sea Diary' here at ReadItDaddy and enthused about it, quite rightly. This though? Hmm it's a book that was later tied in to a made-for-tv Halloween special, and I get the distinct impression that Tim Preston's lazy text makes up for the fact that the TV thing had little or no dialogue.

It's best to just marvel at Bartram's detailed paintings on each page, make up your own story to go with it, and ditch the rubbish story that was haphazardly strapped around this.

Alright, for the record this is the one and only time we'll do this but separate scores time.

Charlotte's best bit: The witches! Real proper witches with green skin and warty noses.

Daddy's favourite bit: Wait a minute, is that a sneaky cameo from the BFG?

Rating: Illustrations - 4 out of 5 stars. Text - 0 out of 5 stars.

Editor's Note - July 2013. Tim recently got in touch via the blog and email to address this review and we're very happy to publish his comment on our "Pumpkin Moon" review...

"Tim is a little sad that he is only credited with having written poor text to accompany the artwork – as he came up with the entire idea for the book in the first place. Once an artist was chosen, Tim provided a lot of detailed notes for each illustration, to assist the artist (who did a great job). As regards Pumpkin Moon, he agrees that the artwork is the thing – the story works best without text. (Tim has no knowledge of the TV thing, which came later.) Actually, Tim says his text was altered by the publisher, without his knowledge; he agrees that the final text is not brilliant – but says the book is still good, thanks to the lovely artwork".

Thank you for your feedback Tim, and thanks for getting in touch to put things straight. 


Tim Preston said...

Hi there. Can I just point out that Tim Preston's "lazy text" was severely edited by the publisher. Tim Preston wasn't particulary happy with it. But can I also point out that Tim Preston came up with all of the ideas and details for Bartram's paintings - with sketches and notes. Finally, can I point out that the text was only every meant to have a supportive role to the images. Where Tim Preston really spent his time was in working up ideas and notes for the artist. So, speaking as Tim Preston, I think you are being a bit harsh on him, because you haven't really understood Tim Preston's role in the book.

Tim Preston said...

Also, one thing I forgot to say. The TV thing came about AFTER the book. Tim Preston wasn't ever influenced by the TV thing. But the original idea was entirely Tim Preston's. Tim Preston isn't bothered that he personally didn't earn any money from the book or the TV thing but as you can see, he is bothered by the review that is not entirely fair, or rather, fails to appreciate the full story.