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

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Review: Outstanding in the Rain

Frank Viva is not only a superlative illustrator, he's a very clever storyteller who never fails to delight with his penchant for creating 'different'.

In Outstanding in the Rain, you might readily guess that we have a delightful play on words in this quirky story about a young lad heading out with his mum to celebrate his birthday.

'Ice cream,' I say, my birthday surprise. 

The word 'cream' sits firmly on the recto page in a cutout circle, peeking through from the next page.

And as we turn that page, we see 'cream' is really part of the word 'scream', with the now verso page hole forming a visual delight with the previous verso page. And so on the story goes, giving us peek-holes that beautifully foretell new recto page words and subsequent verso page imagery.

Have I confused you? You'll have to see the book to really appreciate the cleverness!

Narratively, our young lad has quite the perfect birthday with mum, and all the while, the intense aqua, chocolate brown, mustard and cherry red colour palette and fabulous illustrations of fairground scenes are a complete droolfest for both reader and observer.

Another Frank triumph, who continues to narrow the gap between the child and the adult reader.


Title: Outstanding in the Rain: A Whole Story with Holes
Author/Illustrator: Frank Viva
Publisher: Little, Brown, $26.99 RRP
Publication Date: 26 May 2015
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9780316366274
For ages: 3 - 10
Type: Picture Book

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