Friday, 27 November 2015

ReaditDaddy's First Book of the Week - Week Ending 27th November 2015 - "Stina" by Lani Yamamoto (V & A Publishing)

Our First Book of the Week this week is so perfectly timed for the current weather that we want to treat it like our favourite hot water bottle and hug it close...
The truly stunning 'Stina' by Lani Yamamoto sums up everything we love about our Book of the Week winners. It draws you in instantly with an enigmatic yet beautifully simple cover and then as you start to read it, a wry smile breaks out across your lips.

"Here is someone I know" you think. Or better still "Hey, this is me!"

I love that about "Stina" as we don our thermals, buffs and woolly hats to protect ourselves from the oncoming winter and Stina is also a girl who really truly does not like the cold.

Though we may dream of hibernating like cave bears during the colder weather, Stina actually puts her grand plan into action. She's highly intelligent, resourceful and inventive (like all our favourite girl characters are in the very best books we're lucky enough to read), and it's not long before Stina is cuddled up snugly under her big feather duvet, closing off the world outside.

Yep, this is what we want to at the moment!!

With a truly glorious selection of Heath-Robinson-esque ideas to keep herself fed and watered (thankfully the book skips deftly over any need to keep a potty under the bed), Stina initially thinks her plan is a fabulous one.

Breakfast is a bit of a challenge when you don't want to get out of bed but Stina's got it covered!

And yet...she still feels the cold! WHY! When two rosy-cheeked strangers burst into her cottage, Stina realises that her new friends don't seem to feel the cold despite coming in from outside. Perhaps they've hit on a better plan than hers to keep warm, and with that Stina has one final idea that'll keep her snuggly and cosy yet still allow her to go out and play with her new friends.

Lani's artwork is truly stunning, fusing glorious tight linework with a limited but interesting palette of colours despite the wintry setting. The story itself is highly original both in content and in presentation (seeing Stina's fab blueprints for her various clever ideas on keeping warm is awesome, what's even more awesome is seeing some of them recreated at the end of the book so you can try them yourselves - ever wanted to know how to whistle using your fingers or knit without knitting needles? Now you can!)

I love how, virtually every year, we think that this time of the year is traditionally when publishers are winding down their catalogues and concentrating on their christmas output - then something like this comes along and genuinely delights us.

If you're busily turning up the heating at home, and find it virtually impossible to get out of bed on cold crisp winter mornings like us, you're really going to love this book to bits. We just can't get enough of it (and I think I've just about managed to untangle all the wool from my fingers long enough to get this review typed up. Thanks Lani!)

Charlotte's favourite bit: Stina's awesome 'Breakfast Train' contraption, and learning how to whistle really loudly through her fingers

Daddy's favourite bit: Love Stina to bits, she's smart and resourceful and who couldn't identify with a mighty girl who also loves snuggling up warm in the winter and can't wait to come up with a plan to make it so! Such a brilliant, beautiful and original book. We devoured it!

(Kindly sent to us for review by V & A Publishing)


Written and Illustrated by Lani Yamamoto

Published by V & A Publishing

Publication Date (Hardback): 5th November 2015