Monday, 3 November 2014

The Day No One Was Angry by Toon Tellegen and Marc Boutavant (Gecko Press)

The Day No One Was Angry

Written by Toon Tellegen

Illustrated by Marc Boutavant

Published by Gecko Press

Only recently was there a random discussion at home about "the death of the children's anthology". It feels like anthologies have fallen out of favour in recent years and I can't really understand why. When I was a kid, the lure of an anthology was being able to chip away at a story collection gradually, polishing off a complete section before bedtime, a whole potted story of a few pages long that was instantly gratifying in a way that longer stories aren't always capable of.

So it's rather lovely to find a new anthology for children from Gecko Press called "The Day No One Was Angry". Written by Toon Tellegen and illustrated by Marc Boutavant, it's a wholly original set of animal stories that is funny in places, sometimes almost dark and morose in others, but with an arcing core message that makes each little story segment all the more satisfying to read. The grumpy animals in each tale each have their own little overlapping stories to relate, with moral messages about keeping your temper, sharing more, being a nicer person. Definitely lots of valuable lessons to learn in each case.

The huge draw of this book for Charlotte was that it successfully bridged that gap between early chapter readers and picture books. It's beautifully illustrated so lots of eye candy for Charlotte to ooh and ahh at, and each story is fairly short but sweet so her concentration levels didn't lapse and she could feel that same sense of achievement in finishing each tale before sleep that I used to when I read children's collected anthologies back when I was a grubby whippersnapper.

I definitely welcome the return of the children's anthology. More like this booky people, please!

Charlotte's best bit: The perfect book for before-bed reading, each animal tale can be satisfyingly polished off by an early reader - and they're also brilliant for parents to read to their children - not too long, not too short

Daddy's Favourite bit: There's a huge gap in the market for children's anthologies like this. There are one or two around, but this is definitely one of the best we've seen in a long while.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Gecko Press)