23 September 2009

Aunt Concertina and her Niece Evalina

Written by Paula Green
Illustrated by Michael Hight
Random House
ISBN 9781869790110
Hardback $34.99
I so love it when publishers go the extra mile and produce a book in hardcover. It’s the sign of a book that you’d expect to have a long life with many repeat reads and this is certainly the case with Aunt Concertina. This is a sophisticated picture book with extensive and complex text, written in prose but with poetic elements at every turn, making it a delicious, and lengthy, read-aloud. Aunt Concertina loves to spend time in junk shops adding to her collections, but her niece Evalina wants to go on adventures. Whilst out shopping they find a kite which takes them off on their adventures around the globe. Each double-page spread is a work of art in itself – as you’d expect coming from a fine artist of Michael Hight’s pedigree. Fine artists don’t necessarily translate into great illustrators but in this case he’s done a fine job of taking the text beyond the words themselves and create a complex international panorama with familiar places and things waiting to leap out from every page, along with pieces from old maps, all created with the glorious depth of colour and texture of oils. I particularly love the kite which has a personality of its own. Many of you will remember this duo from their fine poetry book Flamingo Bendalingo, one of my all-time favourite poetry books (and one of the few by NZers for children) and this is another treasure to add to your library.

1 comment:

Juliet said...

Hi from Walker Books Australia! Are you interested in receiving review copies of NZ kids' books that we publish?