Monday, 28 April 2014

Foxly's Feast by Owen Davey (Templar Publishing)

Foxly's Feast

Written and Illustrated by
Owen Davey

Published by Templar Publishing

We're big fans of wordless picture books. Even now, as Charlotte's reading skills mean that she often literally reads ANYTHING she can get her hands on, wordless books provide a challenge and allow for a unique style of narration that children are absolutely brilliant at.

In "Foxly's Feast" by the immensely talented Owen Davey, we meet a rather lean and hungry fox (has anyone ever seen a big fat fox in a story? Nooo!) who has big plans for dinner. Right from page one, Owen Davey builds up a wave of delicious anticipation as at first Charlotte describes Foxly as "a baddie" - well, after all he is roaming the neighbourhood kidnapping all the animals he can lay his paws on, and stuffing them unceremoniously into a huge bag.

Foxly isn't quite the villain he's painted though (and whoah, on the subject of that painting, you really truly have to love Owen's gorgeous reduced palettes and expert linework in this, as in all his other books too). As the story unfolds, Foxly's dialogue (largely consisting of pictoral 'speech bubbles') became quite hilarious as Charlotte broke out his inner monologue and described Foxly's frenzied quest in her own inimitable way.

We will leave the big surprise twist up to you to discover. Wordless picture books are something that all parents should try with their children, as the results are often spectacularly funny as they describe what's happening. They're also something that all authors and artists should have a crack at. If you can build tension and excitement without using words, you really are a talent to be reckoned with.

Charlotte's best bit: I loved her funny wobbly-wibbly Foxly voice as she 'read' the book.

Daddy's Favourite bit: Foxly is brilliant, and Owen's artwork is stunning here. What an excellent book!