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

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Review: Herman and Rosie

The smooth, summery lilt of the New York jazz scene is resplendent in this beautiful new book by the superlative Gus Gordon.

Herman Schubert and Rosie Bloom live in a very busy city. They are neighbours but they don't even really know it yet. Herman loves the oboe (and bosenberry yoghurt), Rosie loves singing and listening to old jazz records (and toffees that stick to her teeth), but both of them frequently feel a sense of loneliness, even though the city is one of the most buzzing and busiest places around.

On Thursday nights, Rosie sings at a Downtown jazz club - and on this particular Thursday night, Herman, on his way home from work, hears her. Inspired, he races home and stands on his rooftop with his oboe and plays a groovy little tune.

Rosie hears to oboe from her apartment next door. And her toes tingle.

When things don't go well for our main characters, when life becomes problematic and even more lonely, fate intervenes - but in that delectable, 'keep missing each other' kind of way. To watch Gus Gordon very tenderly bring two music-lovers together is such a joy - and yet again proves that everyday life has a certain, fated magic.

Stunning, gelato-like illustrations (yes, lickable) warm the heart. I'm particularly loving the map-like pages where our two friends wander the city and almost-almost meet.

And what of that final, agonisingly-anticipated meeting? It's sweet, sweet music.

Don't miss this.

Title: Herman and Rosie
Author/Illustrator: Gus Gordon
Publisher: Penguin, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 22 August 2012
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9780670076031
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book