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

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Review: 10 Little Insects

Davide Cali may be poised to leave our fair shores (after a stint in Australia, on tour) but his legacy remains thoroughly onshore, with his collection of stunning picture books and newest addition 10 Little Insects - a book that is somewhat of a departure from his usual bookish fare.

We recently hosted Davide on KBR with a series of book reviews and interview (see them here) and we are delighted to review his latest award-winning book.

10 Little Insects (well, actually, some of them are quite beefy) are on their way to Tortoise Island - for a variety of reasons. A Champion Marathon Swimmer is going to collect a prize. A National Dog Biscuit-Eating Champion has been invited as guest of honour. A young chicky babe is off for a Singles Weekend, and one insect has simply come along after receiving an invitation saying "as much dung as you can eat". Yes, he's a blowfly.

When the insects reach the odd-looking island, each one makes its gasping way up the gazillion stairs to a rather striking house at the top of the mountain. Inside, they get stuck into the dung - and get to know each other a little better . . . that is until a murderous voice roars from the record player, welcoming the visitors and then telling them they're all about to die.

And indeed - strange occurrences almost instantly begin to occur . . .

From the Oklahoma-singing bug to the barrage of creepy bug-confessions, this hilarious take on an entymological murder mystery is a joy to read through, least of all for its hilarity but also for its Woody-Allen-esque character musings, who consistently go off on a series of verbal ramblings that lend a deliciously dry humour too frequently missing in children's books.

In fact, reading this book is like peeking into the doodlings and pennings found in the diary a 14-year-old boy, whose pure creative spirit is totally unfettered and pure artistic genius. Such is the youthful, candid and brilliant combination of this author and illustrator.

Presented comic-strip style, with vibrant and totally contemporary illustrations by Vincent Pianina, this brilliant book has that delicious Euro vibe, funny-bone-tickling characters, a little bit of gore and pockets of bite-sized suspense, as each character gets picked off - one by one. But of course - it's always accidental, and never on purpose.

You want different? This is it. Love.

Have a sneak peek of 10 Little Insects right here.

Title: 10 Little Insects
Author: Davide Cali
Illustrator: Vincent Pianina
Publisher: Wilkins Farago, $29.99 RRP
Publication Date:
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9780987109910
For ages: 8+
Type: Picture Book