Monday 1 October 2012

"Black Dog" written and illustrated by Levi Pinfold (Templar Books)

We make no apologies for the fact that we're going to have to 'double dip' on Book of the Week this week. It was nigh-on impossible to separate our two top books so they're both getting the lovely sparkly gold border and heaps of praise.

Visiting Mostly Books in Abingdon is a very very dangerous thing (for my wallet) but always a pleasurable one. It's impossible to drop in and pick one or two books, their selection is so brilliant and their ordering service (even a casual mention that you really want a book on Twitter) sends them into a flurry of activity, ensuring that you get the best service possible. We spotted Black Dog nestling on the new releases shelf and the artwork instantly caught our eye. A quick scan through and Charlotte wanted it right then and there.

Unsurprisingly "Black Dog" tells the story of - a black dog! Black Dog takes on titanic proportions as each member of the family looks out of the window one morning and spots it hanging around. It takes the smallest (and bravest) member of the family to slip out and confront the beast.

Two things mark this book out as special. One is Levi Pinfold's artwork. It's absolutely top notch, the sort of work that is utterly perfect for children's books but you'd also love to see on your wall at home. Pin-sharp observational art that depicts the typical family house in chaos, with so many details and deft little touches that it's just mind-blowingly taught and beautiful at the same time. No exaggeration, if there was a prize for the most beautifully painted Children's Book every year (WHY isn't there one? Maybe we'll start one!) this would be a shoe in.

The central theme in Black Dog should, by rights, be a bit scary for children but I think because the hero of the tale is so tiny and brave, it instantly gives children a feeling of empowerment - and the way the book ends reinforces that deliciously.

A worthy book of the week. What could possibly be the other? You'll have to keep reading all week to find out because we're going to be really mean and not reveal the other one till Friday :)

Charlotte's best bit: The Big Black Dog "Snuffling" Little Small.

Daddy's favourite bit: Tight writing, delicious artwork, those nifty pyjama suits the family wear, and an absolutely beautifully painted old-style radio. Sublime!

A ReadItDaddy Book of the Week