Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Wonderful Egg by Dahlov Ipcar (Flying Eye Books)

The Wonderful Egg

Written and Illustrated by
Dahlov Ipcar

Published by Flying Eye Books

Dahlov Ipcar is, without a doubt, a living legend in children's picture books. Swiftly approaching her centenary (she was born in 1917 and still continues to paint on a daily basis, and attend gallery events, wowsers!) Dahlov is one of the most influential author-illustrators on the planet, and her books have been a happy discovery for us. During the 1950s and 1960s her work peaked with a series of informative and brilliant children's books that laid the foundations for other books to follow.

Dahlov recognised a trend in children's books that she didn't agree with. A trend to 'baby' children with books that were simplistic in form, and providing no long term satisfaction or immersion.

Dahlov's books are now being reprinted in part by Flying Eye Books (look out for a review of "I Like Animals" soon) so it's a fantastic chance for folk to catch up with her work, and introduce her wonderful books to their children - starting here with The Wonderful Egg.

Part story, part non-fiction book, "The Wonderful Egg" introduces children to dinosaurs in a fun and engaging way. A mysterious egg appears in the prehistoric landscape - and it's up to the reader to decide which dinosaur laid that egg. Was it the Triceratops? The Diplodocus? Perhaps the mighty and fearsome Tyrannosaurus. Introducing factual elements into the story, and then teaching children how to 'sound out' the names of those dinosaurs at the end of the book is something years ahead of its time. Dahlov's artwork is also amazing, both eye-catching and colourful yet using a fairly reduced pallette.

Considering that this book was first published in 1960, and that dinosaur books still follow this exact pattern today (for instance, take a look at Jonny Duddle's brilliant "Gigantosaurus" for more in this ilk) it really is something special, and testament to one extremely talented lady that it hasn't dated one iota.

Find out more about Dahlov Ipcar on her website.

Charlotte's best bit: Deep and meaningful discussion about what Dinosaurs could've eventually evolved into

Daddy's Favourite bit: It feels amazing to see books by an author who is such a huge and important influence in children's literature still affecting and influencing books today

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

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