Monday, 2 September 2013

The Weasel Puffin Unicorn Baboon Pig Lobster Race by James Thorp and Angus Mackinnon (Digital Leaf)

The Weasel Puffin Unicorn Baboon Pig Lobster Race

Written by James Thorp

Illustrated by Angus MacKinnon

Published by Digital Leaf

Digital Leaf are definitely a publisher we've not heard of before, but if the quality of their books is anything to go by, they're a publisher you're going to be hearing a lot more of in future.

When we heard the title of this book, we had to take a look. With an eye for the surreal, we really wanted to know how you could bring together such a diverse bunch of animal characters and weave a story out of them.

Taking its cues from the classic "Hare and Tortoise" fable, with the strong message that cheaters never win (I know this, I learned all I need to know from watching Droopy cartoons as a kid) let the great Weasel Puffin Unicorn Baboon Pig Lobster race begin!

"One Pinky Morning" is when it all began. On your marks!

With lyrical rhymes that intentionally play with words (and refreshingly bend some of the rhyming rules we've come to know and love), the tale begins as the WPUBPL (you knew I was going to get tired of typing out the full title, right?) line up and take a tour round each other's 'gardens'.

I'd like to be...under the a Unicorn's garden, in the shade.
The artwork really reminds me of a cross between the Beatles 'Yellow Submarine' cartoon, and possibly even Crystal Tipps and Alistair (whatever happened to them? Surely with the current trend for reviving old children's TV they're about ripe for a reboot?)

As the race enters its frenetic later stages, children will enjoy rooting for their favourite animal (Charlotte firmly pinned her colours on the unicorn "because she's so cute!").

We'll leave you to discover who wins. "The Superharies" (as James and Angus are collectively known) have twirled their wands of surreality over this pacey and fresh feeling book. Who would YOU choose to win? "The Weasel Puffin Unicorn Baboon Pig Lobster Race is out now from Digital Leaf and all good indie stockists.

Loving the perspective in these illustrations. Very groovy, Superhairies!

Charlotte's best bit: Unicorn Land, which is indeed as fabulous as you'd imagine a Unicorn's garden would be!

Daddy's Favourite bit: It's crazy, surreal with a mouthful of a title and some serious nose thumbing at "The picture book rulebook" but who couldn't love it for that!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Amanda at Digital Leaf)