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

Monday, 8 July 2013

Review: Farmer Fisher

This superb, verbally musical and visually exciting picture book is a re-issue. Farmer Fisher was first published in 1975 after what began as a song for the author’s son was developed into a book.

It begins with a farmer setting off to market with a collection of farm animals plus a ton of turnips in a truck where ‘you can’t see the colour for the farmyard muck’. It is rhythmic rhyme that dances playfully on the page arm-in-arm with alliteration, assonance and clever wordplay.

The truck breaks down. A miscellany of vehicles becomes a chained-together line of broken down attempts to pull the truck to market. A final epiphany by the farmer solves the problem by the simplest of methods.

It is the extraordinary repetition and rhythm that propels the story forward. The illustrations are incomparable in detail, colour and sequence, but there’s no question that it is the humorous and clever verse that dominates.

Jonathon Coudrille is a multi-instrumentalist, an artist and writer. The book is 48 pages long and every word on every page is a delight to read. If there is one book you must buy, for a present or for the joy of language, this book is it. Farmer Fisher was the first picture book on the British market to include a CD. The song can be downloaded free from Footsteps Press. The book can be purchased on the Footsteps website, Amazon, or through Barnes&Noble.

Title: Farmer Fisher
Author/Illustrator: Jonathon Coudrille
Publisher: Footsteps Press, $AUD16.73 RRP (approx)
Publication Date: May 2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781908867124
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture book

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