Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Feature of Pictures (and Books!) No. 5

This month (honestly I'm still trying to figure out how often I'm going to have these features- it's a mixed bag kind of deal) I'm featuring two very interesting books- both had really excellent qualities, but both weren't quite what I hoped they would be. Were they better, were they worse, were they just different? Read on and you, reader, shall find out.

Title: Every Day is Malala Day.
Author: Rosemary McCarney with Plan International.
Publisher: Allen and Unwin.
Publish Date: 1st April, 2014.
RRP: $12.99

While I had anticipated a very different book- one full of letters individually written by girls across the globe, each affected by Malala Yousafzai's story was the impression the synopsis I read had given me, and this is a book, as far as I can tell, written by one woman for these girls- it was still a heartwarming, inspiring book. I felt moved by the strong words, especially by the excerpt from Malala's speech at the United Nations Youth Assembly, which I here read in fuller detail than I previously had.

I did, none the less, have a few issues with the book: some of the pictures felt overly framed, particularly one I now know was part of a campaign by Plan to end child marriage, and it felt, overall, a lot less personal than I had believed it would be.

I wanted to hear, as best I could, from the girls themselves. I wanted this to be a stepping stone for them to speak up, not just someone speaking up on their behalf.

Image Credit: Allen and Unwin.

Image Credit: Bloomsbury.

Title: Little Lou and the Woolly Mammoth.
Author: Paula Bowles.
Publisher: Bloomsbury.
Publish Date: May 2014.
RRP: $14.99 (PB)

The illustrations in this book are gorgeous. One peek inside shows you that amply, and despite the rhyming way of the text, a thing I've never been able to grow entirely fond of in regards to childrens books- indeed, it has always left me disinclined- the story is sweet (though perhaps a few levels down from the illustrations, which are so very lovely. Did I say that?), but it wasn't quite enough all round. The illustrations were, as tends to happen for me, my favourite part of this book, particularly those of the woolly mammoth made of strong, who is a very nice mix of colours.

It's a fun, colourful, charming book, but a part of me couldn't help but wonder: if a giant woolly mammoth has been chasing you (intentions unknown) and through incidence it grows smaller, don't you still have a small mammoth that has possibly evil intentions?

Thank you to Allen and Unwin for the review copy of Every Day is Malala Day!
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy of Little Lou and the Woolly Mammoth!


  1. Ooh, I feel like I want to find Little Lou and the Woolly Mammoth for my nephew! He is SUCH a little book eater, and he likes the weird and wonderful. I like the pictures. (I never grew up, nope, I didn't think it was a requirement of life.)

    1. If you do, do let me know his (and your) thoughts on it! I'm planning on reading it with my niece this week and will be interested to see her reaction. (Growing up is not a requirement, I don't think. So long as it's not (at least in my case) in the Peter Pan sense, because I can't abide him.)x

  2. That wooly mammoth book sounds so cute! Isn't it funny how children's books kind of overlook some things that are logical? Lovely mini reviews!

    1. Well I can't say I mind books being illogical- it doesn't really bother me as long as they're incredibly enjoyable! It can be pretty amusing though, yes. ( : xx

  3. Even with those issues you mentioned, Every Day is Malala Day sounds like an important and inspiring book. I have her I Am Malala, though I've yet to read it in full. And Little Lou and the Woolly Mammoth sounds so adorable. Illustrations always make me happy. :)

    1. I'd be really interested in reading I am Malala, I've heard such good things about it, and I hope that would sit better with me than this did. I agree that this is undoubtably an important book, but overall it just didn't... I just sit right with me.
      Illustrations are glorious! x

  4. Every Day is Malala Day sounds wonderful, although I would agree. It feels less personalised if someone is writing the words for the girls. Still, it's a beautiful concept. :) Aww the mammoth book looks so adorable! I wish I knew someone young enough I can buy it for :P

    1. Definitely- I wonder how I would have felt about it if I hadn't had expectations to how it would be prior to the read? Maybe I would have come away satisfied, but still, maybe not.
      Something I love with picture books is that, if they're magical and captivating and wonderful enough, you can own them just for you! I have a whole collection and it's nice to just go and read them sometimes. xx

  5. Oh, this is the first I'm hearing of the Malala book, but it sounds wonderful and so meaningful! Although, I think I know what you're saying when it comes to your complaint. Pretty sure I would feel the same way. And that is one cute mammoth! I would like to "read" that one for the illustrations alone!

    1. If you read it anytime, I'd be really interested in hearing how you reacted to it, Aylee! I think it was one of those instances where the book I had imagined just worked better for me than the one I was given, which is pretty disappointing, but I do still think it's an important book for people to read and share.xx

  6. Child marriage is so sad. :( One of my essays in college touched that issue and I still can't forget about it. Although slightly disappointing, I'm glad you found the book very personal, Romi! Little Lou and the Wooly Mammoth has such adorable illustrations indeed! Like Sam, illustrations always make me happy. Pretty pictures! *starry eyed*

    Lovely mini reviews, hun! :)

    1. Oh Hilda, it is. There are many subjects that are touched in the book, so hopefully it'll enlighten people and get them talking, and change will come.

      Illustrations in YA books are a favourite of mine, actually, because it's so uncommon and so often glorious! I must search for a new YA illustrated book soon, since it's been a couple of months since I last read one.


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Please note, however, that nothing hurtful will be tolerated.

Have a beautiful day.x