Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver is one of the fantastic books I’m reading at the moment. It’s a really magical book and one of those stories that you can get lost in. If you like books like The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo, I highly recommend it. Reserve it at your library now.
Monthly Archives: October 2011
I love Oliver Jeffers’ books because they’re always so quirky and different. His illustration style is quite simple and sparse but he uses different textures and materials within them. His latest picture book, Stuck, is classic Oliver Jeffers and is weird and wacky, with a surprise ending.
It all began when Floyd got his kite stuck in a tree. As any kid would do, Floyd tries throwing other things up into the tree to knock the kite down, including a ladder, a bucket of paint, a cat, the kitchen sink, and a rhinoceros. Each thing he throws up there just ends up getting caught with the kite. It’s not long before things really start to get out of control and Floyd starts to run out of ideas. Will he get his kite, and everything else, out of the tree?
Stuck will have kids (and grown-ups) laughing out loud at all the crazy things Floyd throws into the tree. You’re never quite sure what you’re going to find he’s thrown in the tree each time you turn the page, so you can have a guessing game about what it might be. I didn’t see the ending coming so it had me cracking up, and left me thinking what might happen next. I love the simplicity of Oliver’s illustrations and the text, which seem quite child-like. Oliver has really channeled his inner child in this book and kids will love the craziness of it. Stuck will beg to be read again and again.
Bob Graham is one of Australia’s most prolific illustrators and his books always make you laugh and tug at your heartstrings. Bob’s latest book, A Bus Called Heaven is another classic Bob Graham story.
An abandoned bus turns up one day in Stella’s street and everybody stops and stares. There’s no explanation for it, it’s just there. They all follow Stella on board to have a look around and Stella suggests that it could belong to everyone in their street. Together, they push the bus into Stella’s front garden and clean it, paint it and add their own touch. Life returns to the bus where ‘babies crawled, people laughed, kids fought, grandads scratched dogs, meetings were planned, couples met and the Fingles showed their holiday pictures.’ Then the tow truck arrives and takes the bus away. Will Stella and her neighbours be able to save their bus?
A Bus Called Heaven is a uplifting story about a community coming together and fighting for what they believe is right. Bob Graham makes you want to be a part of their community and you’re hoping and wishing that they’ll be able to keep their bus. Bob’s vibrant, panel-style illustrations tell their own story, meaning that you could take away the text and you could still understand what’s going on. There are so many characters that anyone can find someone in the story that they can relate to, whether it’s the children playing, the parents sharing a cup of tea, or the grandads scratching the dog’s tummy. A Bus Called Heaven is a story that can be enjoyed again and again and a great book to teach children about community and working together.
If you’re as excited about The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn as I am you’ll be watching all the different movie trailers, looking at images from the movie, and maybe even wishing you were Tintin. I loved the cartoon series of Tintin as well as the books and the movie looks amazing. While you wait for the movie, there is an amazing book that you should check out called The Art of The Adventures of Tintin.
I find it really interesting finding out how movies are made, how they choose the actors to play the characters, what costumes they choose, and how they decide where to shoot the movie. The Art of the Adventures of Tintin is overflowing with all this information about The Secret of the Unicorn. There are introductions by the brilliant Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson who are directing and producing the movie. They talk about why they decided to make this movie and how important it was to get the details correct. The author of the book (and Lead Conceptual Designer for the movie), Chris Guise takes you on a kind of tour of the movie, showing you some of the amazing art work and design from the team at Weta Workshop that has gone into the movie.
The book is split into four sections: The Film Makers, The Beginning, The Characters, and The Environments. The Beginning gives some background on Tintin’s creator, Herge, and shows you how the designers came up with the look of the movie. My favourite section of the book is The Characters. You get to see what Tintin could have looked like in the movie, and I really think they picked the right image for the movie, because some the early images look pretty strange. You see how they created all the main characters and find out how they made them look so realistic. The Environments shows you how the designers made the sets, props and vehicles look exactly like Herge imagined them.
If you’re a Tintin fan or even just like seeing how movies are made, The Art of the Adventures of Tintin is the perfect book for you. There is so much detail and so many images in this book that it will keep you entertained for hours. I can’t wait to see how all these aspects of the film have come together when The Secret of the Unicorn is released in New Zealand on 26th December.
If you’ve enjoyed reading my reviews you might like to get them emailed to you as soon as they’re posted. If you subscribe to My Best Friends Are Books before 30 November you could win a New Zealand picture book pack just in time for Christmas. The pack includes All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth, There’s a Hole in my Bucket, and The Elves and the Cloakmaker.
The winner of the New Zealand picture book pack is Nicole Latham. Thanks to all my new followers!