Wednesday 22 November 2017

The Elephant in the Room by James Thorp and Angus Mackinnon (Templar Publishing)

Every now and again it's great to see children's books dabble with surreality in such a cool way as with this one...
James Thorp and Angus Mackinnon are back for another super-cool collaboration in the fabulous "The Elephant in the Room" which once again shows off their innate skill in producing really 'different' books (speaking of which, check our archives for a review of this little beauty by the same chaps!)

You see, what James and Angus have realised is that kids A) aren't dumb and B) are more than ready to accept slightly surreal and bonkers situations in their stories.

Though this story is about honesty and consequence as we meet Olive and Grub, brother and sister. Their dad is a giant - and to be honest he has a bit of a temper on him. So when Dad's beloved Elephant gets broken, there'll be tears before bedtime!

The culprit wasn't Olive and her brother Grub. Nor was it the naughty newt, the laughing lady or the yucky yak.

It's a mystery for sure...

Hang on, wasn't that a song by Hot Chocolate? No?
...and like all good mysteries, this one keeps its cards close to its chest right until the big reveal at the end of the book. 

Spoilers, sweetie! Spoilers!
As you can see from the illustrations, this book is a glorious Beatles-ey nod to a particular style of art we don't see nearly enough of in children's books, with crisp stark lines and simple colour palettes describing each scene perfectly. 

Kids who love stuff like "Adventure Time" will definitely love this taste of surreality. 

Charlotte's best bit: She grew rather attached to the poor grumpy storm cloud who seems to get the blame for everything. But who is the real culprit?!

Daddy's favourite bit: A sublime slice of surreal storytelling superbly squished into this beltingly brilliant book. 

"The Elephant in the Room" by James Thorp and Angus Mackinnon is out now, published by Templar (kindly supplied for review).