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

Friday 24 August 2012

Review: The Onion's Great Escape

I love it when a book is just so out there, you hold it in hand and make little peeps of glee. I also love it when a book defies stereotyping, and Sara Fanelli's genius work - all about an onion - does just that.

Yes, this book is about an onion. An onion destined for the cooking pot. It needs your help. It doesn't want to be cooked and eaten - it wants to grow, to know, to learn things, and with your help - by carefully punching out each onion-shaped page in the book, you can free this onion from its stewlike fate.

Each double page spread of this lusciously-visual book, with lovely, thick pages, features a collage of imagery and words and typography that dance with colour and detail, like a pot of hearty stew.

There are questions for the reader. There is the chance to fill in special notes. There are philosophical meanderings. Riddles. Strange and beautiful statements to make you THINK and REFLECT and MUSE. It's just joy to read through and soak in. Kids will love it.

And - of course - they will also love to patiently punch out each oniony page until finally, finally, at the very end of the book, the onion can be set free, and the spine of this book becomes open (though still held together at the top and bottom) and the onion shape becomes its own little mini book - both books most cleverly being able to stand alone in terms of image and text.

Creative, decadent, delicious, fun, surprising, thoughtful, clever, DIFFERENT. Perfect.

Title: The Onion's Great Escape
Author/Illustrator: Sara Fanelli
Publisher: Phaidon, $29.95 RRP
Publication Date: 7 May 2012
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9780714857039
For ages: 6 - 12
Type: Picture Book