'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 22 May 2011

Review: The Aunties Three

We’re great fans of Nick Bland here at KBR and wait with breathless anticipation when a new book is announced. With The Aunties Three, the breathlessness was soon sated by yet another cleverly penned and lustrously-illustrated book.

When the three hoity aunties coming knocking at the door, our three little wide-eyed kids scrabble to prep the house, proffering uprooted flowers from an indoor potplant as the three prissed-up aunts stride through the door.

They want tea, they want foot rubs, they want something sweet to eat, and as our three little poppets fumble to provide all, things quite naturally go disastrously wrong. Milk gets spilled. Fuzzy hoity hats get plucked. Baked bean cans explode on the stove.

As the aunties three are ousted one-by-one (in horror) from the house, our well-meaning little ones are dismayed by a fourth knock at the door. Uh-oh. Who could it be?

Bland’s illustrations are overwhelming perfection. That funky Sendak-style edge, the quirkyness, the charm, the hilarity he is renowned for, every detail is just a total eye-fest. Each page is resplendent with magical elements that take this story to a whole other level – the toddler in the pig suit, the bullseye target on the ming vase, the aunt’s crocodile handbag, the banana and salt cellar taking a ride on the toy train, the bare bot-bot on the tot drawing on the wall. The delightful surprises are virtually endless.

Bland is also marvelously adept at facial expression beyond compare. From the nervous faces of the kids to the toffee-nosed aunts – the eyes, mouths and faces of his characters are stretched and warped in exaggerated bliss – perfect for encapturing children and eliciting many a giggle.

On a narrative note, Bland’s rhyming text is typically divine, descriptive and funny, and the KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK of the arriving aunties adds a delicious suspense kids will adore.

The Aunties Three is an utterly gorgeous book that will fill faces – little and big – with stacks of wonder.

Title: The Aunties Three
Author/Illustrator: Nick Bland
Publisher: Scholastic, $24.99
Publication Date: May 2011
ISBN: 9781741697919
Format: Hard cover
For ages: 2 - 8
Type: Picture Book

You can buy this book online