Thursday, 23 January 2014

A Book is a Book by Jenny Bornholdt and Sarah Wilkins (Gecko Press)

A Book is a Book

Written by Jenny Bornholdt

Illustrated by Sarah Wilkins

Published by Gecko Press

People often ask us "What's with the children's book thing then?" whenever I do my usual surreptitious promotion of children's literature. "Why review children's picture books? What's so great about them?"

As you can imagine, this is like pressing the big round shiny candy-like fire button on a massive missive about why we started this blog in the first place, and why four years on we're still as passionate and enthusiastic about children's picture books as we were on day one.

"A Book is a Book" is a great story to highlight all the things we get from reading together (and as Charlotte rapidly approaches her sixth birthday, and I constantly wonder where the time goes, "reading together" is what happens now rather than me solely reading to her - A big hooray to that).

Creatives often describe the altered mind state, almost an out-of-body experience that takes place when they're truly lost in or wrapped up in their work. A good book has the power to trigger this state, and in "A Book is a Book" Jenny and Sarah describe the triggers and elements that bring on this state. A book can be a distant land full of magic and adventure. A book can be a teacher, filling our hungry brains with knowledge. A book can make us laugh, cry, can take us through a million and one other emotional states before we turn to the final page. A book can be familiar, alien, feel as comfortable as your favourite pair of slippers, or make you feel like you're walking across hot coals.

For children, books can describe scenarios they'll never see in their everyday lives, or perfectly demonstrate that millions of other children enjoy the same things. We can feel like the heroes in a book, the villains, the winners and losers.

We're just scratching the surface, but if you want a tiny little treasured pocket-sized book you can carry around with you, to whip out the next time someone asks you the question we get asked so often - the question we opened this review with - then "a Book is a Book" is utterly perfect.

Charlotte's best books: Stories about monsters, pirates and princesses

Daddy's Favourite books: Surreal, science fiction and fantasy stories, books that take you out of the mundane world and into a more interesting one

(Kindly sent to us for review by Gecko Press)