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

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Review: I Can't Wait

What better blending of surreal talent than Cali and Bloch? A personal fan of both their work, I was ecstatic to hold this petite, hard cover, long landscape book in my hands.

It all starts on the title page. A little piece of red string leads you to turn the page . . . and there it is trailing across the bottom of a double page spread, being tugged on at far right by a wee man who says "I can't wait . . . to be big".

He also can't wait for a goodnight kiss, his birthday cake or for the rain to stop. And of course - Christmas.

As our wee man gets older, he can't wait to find love - and when he finds it, he can't wait to see her again. And on through his life we go, nodding in agreement with the myriad 'can't waits' we all invariably experience in live, driven by what we don't yet have - and what we perceive to need.

The beauty of this book is in its simplicity but also in its ability to touch the inside and outside of your body - from the swelling deep in your heart to the goosebumping of your skin - and even the daring escape of a tear or two, this is a book adults will inherently 'know' but that children will also understand, despite not yet having lived the lifetime it takes to truly feel such a profoundly emotional tale.

Bloch's delicate line drawings and clever use of red embroidery thread add poignancy and an added depth of meaning to Cali's moving words. The tuft of thread in a woman's rounded belly, the draping red life line, the scathing, knotted thread argument . . . this is artistic interpretation at its best.

I love this book so much, I use it as artwork on my desk. And like the red thread that wends its way through the ups and downs of this young boy's life and beyond - I know I'll be toting this book with me and treasuring it for as long as that delicate red thread wends its way through my own life.


{footnote: this book is not included in our fabulous Davide Cali book giveaway}

Title: I Can't Wait
Author: Davide Cali
Illustrator: Serge Bloch
Publisher: Workman Publishing, $16.99 RRP
Publication Date: 24 October 2005
Format: Hard cover, small format
ISBN: 9781579652975
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book