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

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Review: Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau

Going from strength to heart-thumping strength, this talented creative team continue to win my heart with their latest collaboration.

Madame Chapeau is a hat-maker extraordinaire--indeed, the world's finest. Her hats are painstakingly created with the very best of materials--each feather and bow meticulously placed; each heady creation unique and breathtaking.

Yes, Madame is a dedication soul, to the detriment of her social life, and many an evening she eats supper alone.

When her birthday comes around, she again dines alone, but this time in the finest restaurant in town. Donning her party frock and her finest birthday hat, she trots off for the evening, but disaster strikes! Stubbing her toe on a root, she takes a tumble and her hat flies into the air, to be snaffled by a crow.

Chasing her beloved hat through town, she's offered many a hat by the townsfolk, but none will quite do, and poor Madame ends up at her birthday cake table, hatless and blue.

That is, until a little friend appears and offers her the most unusual of hats.

This is a romping story of action, fun and friendship that's simultaneously whimsical and hearfelt. Andrea Beaty has a real knack for creating characters with such charm and depth, despite the brevity of the picture book. One can't help but be entranced.

David Roberts' superb illustrations are an image-lovers dream, featuring delicate linework, lustrous colour and detail to boggle the eye. His use of facial expression is also priceless.

Another favourite from a team I adore. I'm waiting patiently for the next one.

Title: Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau
Author: Andrea Beaty
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher: Abrams, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 October 2014
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9781419712197
For ages: 4 - 8
Type: Picture Book

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