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

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Review: The Big Question

Elephant is curious. She has a pretty big question. A difficult question. And she can't get it out of her mind.

Fortunately, the Big Meeting is about to begin, and she knows she can ask her friends. Maybe someone will know the answer.

The question is this: How do you know when you love someone?

Of course, everyone has their own interpretation of love.

Mouse remembers seeing his love for the first time--he felt as big as an elephant.

Snow White says love helps her forget all else, like wicked stepmothers and sour apples.

Stone says he feels warm when his love is close by.

Explorer still hasn't found love but apple says she knows love when it arrives, because she starts to blush.

Everyone has their two cents on love, except Ant, who is too busy for love (and something of a skeptic). Eventually the animals decide that love can be all of these things--and perhaps something even more. But will Ant come round?

A gorgeously-produced but relatively text-heavy picture book, this would suit readers aged 8 and older, especially as some of the abstract concepts may be lost on littlies. Nevertheless, any age would be instantly enchanted by the glorious, magical realism illustrations that cram each page with visual splendor.

I particularly love the odd collection of participants in the book, from fairytale characters to polar bears and circus performers, making for a surreal and beautiful creation.

Title: The Big Question
Author: Leen van den Berg
Illustrator: Kaatje Vermeire
Publisher: Book Island, $28 RRP
Publication Date: 1 October 2014
Format: Hard cover, large 
ISBN: 9780994109842
For ages: 8+
Type: Picture Book

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