Sunday, July 26, 2020

#Booky100Keepers Day 84: The books of Helen Hancocks

Some author-illustrators make our hearts almost sing with joy whenever they release a new book. One such gifted individual is Helen Hancocks, whose picture books are an absolute delight, striking the perfect balance between being gloriously involving and entertaining, and as clever as a Vixen who went off to Fox University and got her degree, doctorate and PhD.

Cats are a thing for us. You will probably see it as a recurring theme on the blog that we coo, and cheer every time a book comes along that features a devilishly smart feline and Helen's glorious "William" series is an absolute delight.

In "William and the Missing Masterpiece" the International Moggy of Mystery is hot on the trail of a mysterious art theft in the cool and cosmopolitan city of Paris.

It doesn't take long before William uncovers clues that lead straight to the thief. What we really loved about this book (apart from William) is Helen's gorgeous nods and references to famous works of art, all given her own unique storytelling and artistic touches to fit in with the story - and for me a great place to start off C's own interest in art and artists, showing her the real-life paintings which Helen based her own versions on.

William's second adventure "William Heads to Hollywood" is equally glorious, this time tapping into the whole Hollywood scene in such a fantastic way, and again working in dozens of fabulous characters, references and just utterly brilliantly clever stuff as William is hot on the trail of another devious miscreant, who this time has made off with all the annual awards.

Teaming up with glamour-puss Audrey Mieowski, William is quite the cat about town as he rubs shoulders with Hollywood royalty before nabbing the naughty award thief.

Helen draws on so many influences that tick all the right boxes for us, producing a book that feels like Roman Holiday - and a really fab read that's full of sunshine and colour, like most of Helen's books.

Lastly we wanted to mention another of Helen's cat books, well - cats are in it but the star is a rather strange goggle-eyed little chap...

"Penguin in Peril" is a fabulous chase-romp featuring three naughty cats who are so hungry they turn to a life of crime. Their plan: Kidnap the best fish-nabber in the business, making off with a poor Penguin from the local zoo.

Thankfully penguins are pretty slippery customers so as the cats make off with their captive, the penguin escapes - leading to a hilarious chase through the city until a helpful bird comes to the penguin's rescue, and sees those three naughty kitties tucked up safely behind bars.

Once again there are so many brill little details in this, and who could fail to love a book about cats AND penguins!

We've included review links to all the books we've featured by Helen, and look how many times she's fetched up in our Book of the Week slot..! Wow!

Original Review Links: 

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