Monday, April 28, 2014

A Feature of Pictures (and books!) No. 3

Number 3 of my picture book feature and I'm reviewing two very different books, though each has a similar thread.

Title: Jam For Nana.
Author: Deborah Kelly.
Publisher: Random House Australia.
Publish Date: 1st April, 2014.
RRP: $19.99

Whilst this is a sweet book, undoubtably- the words tell a story that is caring yet sorrowful, the pictures leave you feeling warm- it was not at all what I anticipated and it left me wanting more. I had imagined more... the story of a girl setting off on a great adventure for her grandmother, and I didn't really enjoy what I found instead.
Perhaps the reason I didn't overly enjoy Jam For Nana was because it didn't leave me thrilling or imagining anything much in particular, or perhaps there's a different reason. I'm not entirely sure. Whatever it is, though, I wasn't overwhelmed.
The words, though sweet, didn't touch me, and the illustrations, though warm, didn't stand out- there were moments when I thought I might sink in, but it wasn't to be.

Cover Image Credit: Random House Australia.

Cover Image Credit: Allen and Unwin.

Title: The Duck and the Darklings.
Author: Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King.
Publisher: Allen and Unwin.
Publish Date: 26th March, 2014.
RRP: $24.99

My first attempt to read this halted after no more than two pages: a headache and the words, twisting across the page and unfamiliar, were unreadable, refusing to penetrate my mind.
The second time I opened it I was a little daunted and again the first pages were confronting with so many new, peculiar things all spoken of as if they were completely ordinary, a whole way of living to comprehend- but then I was touched by the beauty of the words. The story.
It lingers with me, a week after finishing, and holding the book now I feel as if this is something so delightfully precious in my grasp: a treasure.

And truly, it is! The world may be confusing, the speech unfamiliar, but before you have time to truly think about it you will, no doubt, aready have felt the promise of this story put it's hands to you and beckon you forward.

This beautiful, tranquil story, written so breathtakingly and illustrated perfectly, is magnificent, truly, and I will not forget it.

Thank you to Random House Australia for the review copy of Jam for Nana.
Thank you to Allen and Unwin for the review copy of The Duck and the Darklings.


  1. The Duck and the Darkling sounds like a really cool book to me!!!! I want to read it!

    1. Oh you should, Angela! I certainly think you'd love it! Let me know whether you read it or not, okay?

  2. These sound sweet! I haven't ever really reviewed picture-books before...although I read them to my toddler niece/nephew. I'm very educated on things like Wiggles and Peppa Pig (god help me). These sound MUCH better!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

    1. I read them to my niece, too, and because of her I've really refound my love for picture books, and was reading so many great ones I decided to make this feature. I, too, am educated on the Wiggles (she sees the old ones on a vcr trailer and questions why they're different) and Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom (the best show ever, in my opinion).
      I hope you'll check the books out, Cait! xx

  3. I'm not one to get excited about picture books right now, but I used to love them when I was younger. These books look like something that I can gift to my nieces and nephews :)

    1. I hope you do, and then you can read them to/with them! Maybe you'll end up loving one or the other so much that you buy yourself a copy. The amount of picture books I've accrued over the last couple of years- I have two picture book shelves in my bookshelf and they're so beautiful.

  4. Aww, that tree on the cover of Jam For Nana!! So pretty~

    1. Isn't it nice? I love that she's flying a paper aeroplane made out of an old newspaper or book or something; it really looks beautiful.


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