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

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Review: Elfrida

Originally published in Austria, this translation of Elfriede, and its splendiferous illustrations, is a joy to behold in English.

Elfrida the sheep wants to be different. She dreams of poodle haircuts in all manner of pouffy, coloured-tip delight. But can Rob the shearer, who is by no means a fancy stylist, achieve her greatest coiffed desire?

Yes. Yes he can. And not only that – he can achieve the very same for other rainbow-wool wannabes – and an unexpected client, too.

I just adore the illustrations in this book, not to mentioned the gorgeous layout and design – and the typesetting within lined boxes adds that little something unexpected and different.

My only criticism is that the translated rhyme really struggles at times. Translation can be hard enough without having to convert to rhyme, and sadly, the text founders a few times… understandably so. Had the conversion been a consistent style – perhaps just a consistently unstructured rhyme – the flow may have worked better. But as it stands, some text rhymes superbly, making the times it fails really stand out.

Nevertheless, this is a warm, funny, beautiful book kids will adore and adults will appreciate for its beauty, its divine central character – and warm, woolly feel.

Title: Elfrida
Author: Klara Fall
Illustrator: Heide Stöllinger
Publisher: Gecko Press, $16.99
Publication Date: July 2005
ISBN: 9780958259835
Format: Soft cover
For ages: 2 – 6
Type: Picture Book