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

Sunday 20 November 2011

Review: The Big Book of Words and Pictures

Part of my book reviewing strategy is that I rarely read the blurb, back cover or press release for a book. At least, not until I’ve read the book. Like the spoilage of movie trailers, I want my experience to be pure – unfettered by the subjective opinion of naturally zealous publicists, keen to influence my experience of said book.

So, I love it when I do finish reading a book, then check the back cover and see that its description is exactly what I experienced. No hype. Just real.

Although the cover for The Big Book for Words and Pictures certainly hooked my eye, it’s the inside pages that truly got my heart racing – faster and faster the more pages I turned.

For you see, even this middle-aged book lover can appreciate content for two-year-olds, yes I can. Especially when it’s this good.

My first impression of this book is that it’s kind of the world on a platter for tots. It covers, like, everything. From colours and shapes to the contents of houses. From numbers and the alphabet to animals, the seasons and the weather. It’s just all here. All of it. And it really makes me want to be little again. I lament the fact that I did not have this book as a toddler. No fair.

Plants, food, musical instruments, getting dressed. Sport, transport, jobs and emotions. It’s like every single toddler book rolled into one – and what I love most about it is the detailed simplicity. There’s no headings, no divisions, no complications. Just lots and lots of gorgeous pictures, sometimes spattered all over the pages, sometimes sequential, like the little bear getting dressed and the duck who ages from pram to wheelchair.

This book is just a detailed snap of… life. It’s everything – no rhyme nor reason. Just is. Just there. Like the world of a toddler – full to brimming with excitement and beauty, everywhere you turn.

If these 40-something eyes can skip, utterly entranced, across page after page, smiling and soaking up these gorgeous images with hand-clapping glee, you can imagine the collected hours of gobsmacked silence your child will experience by reading this book. A silence that will be undoubtedly followed by pointing, asking, questioning, showing, ranting and book-toting from room to room and into bed for the night.

Charm personified and so kid-friendly, simply everyone’s hands will be clapping in glee – whether four or forty.

Title: The Big Book of Words and Pictures
Author/Illustrator: Ole Könnecke
Publisher: Gecko Press, $24.99
Publication Date: October 2011
ISBN: Könnecke
Format: Hardcover
For ages: 0 - 5
Type: Picture Book, Board Book