Monday, March 23, 2015

A Feature of Pictures (and books!) No. 9

I welcome you back to this (possibly forgotten) feature! Today I have a book that was a beautiful almost disappointment and one that was a beautiful work of I WANT THAT ON MY WALL NOW PLEASE THANK YOU. And also a book o beards. Who'd have thought it, I ask you? Happy times!

Title: Nature's Day.
Author: Kay Maguire.
Illustrator: Danielle Kroll.
Publisher: Quarto UK.
Publish Date: February 25th, 2015.
RRP: $29.99 (AUD)

I admit that at first I did struggle to find something, apart from those gorgeous illustrations, that I could gladly sink into with Nature’s Day, because whilst no doubt interesting, the numerous facts and tidbits bored me, felt disengaging and a tad monotonous, but somehow (don’t ask me, I don’t know) I did, all of a sudden, and I enjoyed it. Not hugely, not exuberantly, and it isn’t, I feel, a book that is wholly accessible to me, but I would give it with verve to a new, wonderous reader (possibly I won’t be passing on my copy as a certain animal decided to chew a spot of the spine to mush) who was excited by the facts and happenings of the passing seasons- though note that some facts will be irrelevant to those in Australia and other countries where some of the animals don’t live.
It is, however, a gorgeous book, and I enjoyed seeing different landscapes (it goes through places like the farm, orchard, pond, street and forest in a seasonal cycle) as the year moved. Particularly the forest, as I have more than a soft spot for those.

Thank you to Allen and Unwin for this review copy!
Image Source: Allen and Unwin.

Title: A River.
Author (and illustrator): Marc Martin.
Publisher: Penguin Random House.
Publish Date: March 25th, 2015.
RRP: $24.99 (AUD)

I checked out Marc Martin’s tumblr (yes here is a link do not thank me), when I considered requesting a review copy of this, and when I saw how beautiful, detailed and, honestly, “I would have that on my wall” the art was I didn’t hesitate a moment longer.
This was incredible.
I have a thing for picture books. It’s a fact. It is THE fact. They are very tiny stories that can appeal o all ages, have art through them, and teach valuable lessons amidst an engaging story that lasts very few pages. And A River?
Best Picture Book of 2015. It is only March, yes, but I truly believe this is going to remain in the top three, at least.
The story, for one, is simple and delightful. Imaginative, dreamy and soaring, it tells the tale of a girl following the river she can see from her apartment window. It goes through the city, past hills and farms… all drawn so carefully and so detailed. Which takes me to the art. Arguably the thing I love the most about picture books, and this… oh my. This is quite close to the art I see in my dreams and imagination. It’s detailed and wonderful and I feel like I could live in it, with no help at all.

Thank you to Penguin Australia for this review copy!
Image Source: Penguin Australia.

Title: Book-O-Beards.
Author: Lemke and Lentz.
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont.
Publish Date: March 2015.
RRP: $14.95 (AUD)

Oh oh oh. This!

And that’s the end of the review! Good day to you!

Alright. Well. Well! This, I say, is a wonderful idea for a series of board books. Wearable books- and this one about beards! I admit, I think mustaches have a little more  …  to them (thank you Magnum and Poirot for ingraining this into my mind), but how fun is this! Only one of the pictures doesn’t include a mustache, actually, so this is practically perfect (I don’t love the pirate, but oh well).
The beards/staches are colourful, amusing, diverse and offer tremendous amusement that does not end with children. Technically I’m more of an adult, but this is a book I WILL use. Oh yes. And there was racial diversity in the characters whose beards you’ll be wearing, which I had looked for and was very glad to see.
Basically, this is terrific. Off to beard!

Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont for this review copy!
Image Source: Hardie Grant Egmont.


  1. I love books like these. If you enjoy artwork I recommend the Rainbow Goblins. That beard one looks soooooo great! I am going to see if my library has it so I can just check it out and look at it.

    1. I've marked it to read (from a previous recommendation by you, actually!), but my library doesn't have it, so maybe I'll have to buy it... it does seem like a really interesting book!
      Good luck with your searching! xx


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