Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Feature of Pictures (and Books!) No. 6

Title: The Composer is Dead.
Author:  Lemony Snicket.
Publisher: Harper Collins.
Publish Date: 2009.

What I thought:
This is such a gloriously fantastic, hilarious and very slightly dark picture book, though to call it a picture book feels somehow... wrong. Peculiar.

I both read and listened to this as it comes with a CD reading, and both were such different experiences. The problem with the audio is that you haven't got the visual beauty of the book, with illustrations (by Carson Ellis) that are delicate and perfectly toned for the book, the story. I felt like the music-interjection between the speech of the inspector occasionally went on a few seconds too long, but the score written for this story is beautiful and it was nice hearing the music composed by this orchestra under suspicion.

This was excellent, if not mind blowingly grand.
Lemony Snicket himself reads the audio, and his accents, especially for the woodwinds, are marvellous.
It was equally hilarious and thought provoking, and I truly enjoyed the experience of the story.

Title: Crikey and Cat.
Author: Chris McKimmie.
Publisher: Allen and Unwin Children.
Publish Date: 25th June, 2014.
RRP: $29.99

I personally didn't like Crikey and Cat, but I feel very strongly that children, particularly 2-5 year olds, will love it.
I always look for picture books that are versatile for all ages, ones that I can still be filled with wonder at, and it's those books that I love the most- they leave me feeling inspired and truly full of wonder, and I just don't like picture books as much if they don't make me feel like that.
Yet, even though I found the storytelling in this somewhat disjointed and it didn't leave me with great memories, I can imagine easily that younger children will garner a huge amount of enjoyment out of it. It's almost one of those stories that you take the beginning of and can tell it to yourself by alytering the story to your imagination, and I think that's really special.

Image Credit: Allen and Unwin.

Thank you to Allen and Unwin for the review copy of Crikey and Cat.


  1. I would like to suggest a picture book to you... The Rainbow Golbins. It is a little dark.. yes.. but the artwork is AMAZING!

    1. I will definitely check it out, Angela! Thank you so much for the recommendation! I love incredible artwork in stories, so I'm sure I'll adore it. xx

  2. I find McKimmie's work challenging at the best of times, I really can't see young children connecting with this. I have come looking for a reiew because as teaher-librarian this has landed on my desk from a pre-order whereby we hae an agreement with a large company who send us a number of books each year. his one is going back. I have never had a child select a McKimmie book, ever. Indeed one was shorlisted two years ago, so every child from Reception to Year 7 had it read to them and opportunity to discuss it. I am afraid I will send this one back, as I have made a decision that eery book in our collection has to earn its space. I don't think this one qualifies.

    1. Thank you for your comment and sharing your thoughts! I found it really interesting, what you wrote! I actually showed my niece the book after and she really enjoyed it- after a read through she goes along with the story herself and I find that it works in a similar way to how I anticipated it would, with her at least. It's really quite wonderful to watch. Thank you again for your words! x


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