Friday, 10 May 2013

Topsy Turvy World by Atak (Flying Eye Books)

German Illustrator Atak must've heard one of Charlotte's favourite nursery rhymes at some point before this book was designed...

"In Upsy Down Town, the sky's the sea
The Rabbit's in a nest where the bird should be
The rain falls up instead of down...Down in Upsy Down Town!"

In boldly coloured surreal style Atak has painted scenes depicting the sort of things you'll hear about in that very song. Scenes where jungle animals shiver and shake in arctic surroundings, or penguins and polar bears sweat in the heat of a tropical jungle. Atak's referential paintings often cheekily borrow characters your children will be able to easily identify, along with a whole zoo of animals, and human characters that are as crazy and colourful as their animal counterparts.

I was interested to see what Charlotte's reaction to this book would be. Children have a fairly high expectation of the artwork in children's books and don't always 'get' stylised stuff. For some children though, Atak's artwork feels approachable, imaginative and exactly the sort of thing they love to paint themselves. Pink giraffes - or for that matter multicoloured tadpoles? All of these things and more are allowed in Atak's bizarre world.

It's a book to visit and revisit, as each huge page spread reveals a vignette that in quite a few cases had Charlotte giggling and rolling her eyes in that way children do when they see something that's a little bit crazy. As you'll see below in her favourite bit, one particular spread amused her to no end - in fact it's now become the first page in the book that she zooms to.

Weird, fabulous, surreal and as bonkers as a liquorice hat. We love it!

Charlotte's best bit: The baby in the high chair feeding its mummy "WHO IS WEARING A BIB!"

Daddy's favourite bit: Spotting all the various characters in the 'Superhero head-swap' painting. Awesome!

(Kindly sent to us by Bounce Marketing / Flying Eye Books)