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

Saturday 21 January 2012

Review: The High Street

If the cover doesn't instantly suck you into this gorgeous book, you've probably got your eyes shut.

Of course, a cover can sometimes belie the content - but not so with Alice Melvin's striking book.

The author takes us on a visual journey down a charming high street, revealing the outside and also the inner workings of a series of shops along the way.

Sally is in need of some items. So off she trots with her basket, down the high street - to the first (and in my opinion, most important) shop - Mr Foggin's sweet shop.

A double spread then folds out to reveal the inside of the shop, with all its delicious goings-on. Sally doesn't find most of the items on her long list - BUT! she does find the candy heart. She tucks it into her basket and is on her way.

Next stop is Mr Botton's Bakery where she finds her cherry tart. Then Mr Kumar's china shop where she snaffles the perfect stripy rug. And so on it goes until Sally finds all but one of the items on her list - a yellow rose. And no - Miss MacDonald's flower shop has failed to come up with the goods.

Can Sally find a yellow rose before she finishes her shopping expedition?

Sweet, succinct and clever writing bring the charming Sally and her cast of shop characters to life, and I particularly love the perfectly whimsical ending.

Winner of BookTrust's Best New Illustrator Award, Melvin's The High Street is a truly beautiful visual feast, and is a must for picture book collectors. 

Title: The High Street
Author/Illustrator: Alice Melvin
Publisher: Tate, $22.95 RRP 
Publication Date: August 2011
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN:  9781854379436
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book