Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Feature of Pictures (and Books!) No. 11

A book that has deeper themes than you might realise on the surface and a collection of stories and art from well loved creators across Australia. Interesting...

Mr. Huff by Anna Walker.
Thank you to Penguin Australia for this review copy!

Mr. Huff was moving but disconcerting in the same moment, the kind of story you take away something differently from depending on how you look at it and your experiences. I view Mr. Huff, a growing figure that Bill sees hanging over him on a bad day, growing larger and larger, something he doesn't know how to get rid of and that makes him sad, mad and lonely, as depression, and so the ending sat rather oddly with me, as I don't know how it correlates, But it was rather heartbreakingly beautiful and touching and even if everyone takes away something different from it, knowing that children can read this and know that a cloud of unhappiness hanging over them can be conquered in the end is so important and I'm in love with the fact it's being tackled.

The Hush Treasure Book- Various.

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

I adore the concept and way this is put together. Bringing together a pack of well known Australian authors and artists to contribute to a selection of stories, to support children in hospitals.
It features a few creators I have long loved, including Shaun Tan, Glenda Millard, Stephen Michael King and Alison Lester, and I was so keen to see what I made of this collection.

Overall it wasn't amazing. There were few stories I felt spoke to me and could be enjoyed far out of childhood, and I didn't actually come away with a particular favourite or any singled out story/illustration, although Anna Walker's art was utterly gorgeous in every way. Watercolours. No more needed. And Margaret Wilde's story was utterly lovely.

I'd have loved to be more invested in these stories, feel a connection (I listen to the CD as I write this and it's so very nice), but I imagine younger people would enjoy the movement, amusement and wonderment of these tales, although a few are definitely geared towards the older than the younger side of that spectrum.


  1. Never been one to read picture books (aside from graphic novels). It's interesting how these books seem to be ageless. But then again, if you read some of the children books ever printed, you'll probably find some with underlying political and social relevance.

    1. I grew up with them and revived my love for them with the birth of my niece. Also, there are always such amazing ones that I want to read just because I want to see what they're about, and so often- yes- the messages are deeper than you first think. The magic of books *sings*

  2. The illustrations look absolutely lovely. Particularly, Mr. Huff. The kids get the best books.

    1. I love really getting to express my love for illustration in picture books. THEY ARE SO GREAT.

  3. I am very intrigued by this Mr Huff. Sadly we don't have it at the library but I will keep an eye out for it. There was this great picture book I read a few months ago, can't remember if I've told you about it, called The Yes.

    And The Yes starts off all happy and positive and then a No enters into the picture (PUNTASTIC!) and then a few more Nos until the Yes is entirely SURROUNDED by Nos and is unable to do anything any more.

    Pretty great that book.

    1. You should recommend your library buy it, what with your status as head domineering librarian. I think you'd find it most interesting. And you know? Your description of The Yes? It genuinely terrifies me.


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