Friday, July 19, 2013

Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara (Macmillan Children's Books)

As we all melt under the onslaught of a heatwave, it's nice to imagine that - probably not far from now - we'll be marvelling at the minty freshness of the first wintry weather. So, next Tuesday then probably?

I jest but perhaps reading books about the cold might make you feel a little cooler - and this is one seriously cool book.

"Jack Frost" by Kazuno Kohara is a delightful book featuring a boy and his dog, and the slightly mysterious and somewhat mischievous titular Jack. The boy discovers the scamp at play, dancing his intricate patterns over the landscape.

For want of a friend, the young boy enjoys lots of fun and games with Jack but always with one rule in mind. Jack Frost must never hear mention of anything warm, or the change in seasons otherwise he'll disappear!

The two (and the fantastic little pet pooch) spend the long winter throwing snowballs, making snowmen and having lots of wintry fun until completely by accident, the boy muses on the first blossoms of spring. True to his word Jack Frost disappears - but will he ever come back to visit his lonely little friend ever again?

Unusually for a children's book, Jack Frost is picked out in a really reduced palette which lends to its cool-as-a-cucumber feel. It's atmospheric in spades, and is a good fun romp. Kazuno Kohara's artwork reminds me a little of the muted hues of "Harold and the Purple Crayon" or the great works of early Sendak or Ezra Jack Keats. Simple though it is, it's wholly effective and perhaps it'd be something more children's books could adopt - whereas the norm is now sumptuously painted and colourful stuff, kids don't actually seem to mind a reduced palette.

Charlotte's best bit: Jack Frost's deadly aim with a snowball. POW!

Daddy's favourite bit: This is my favourite sort of weather, so it's the perfect antidote to being too blinking hot by half!

1 comment:

Anne-Marie said...

We've been borrowing the same books from the library again ;-) Love Kazuno Kohara's books, they are lovely.