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

Thursday 22 October 2015

Review: Can a Skeleton Have an X-Ray?

What is the meaning of life? It's a question we all ask ourselves sooner or later--among many, many others.

Questions are good. They are powerful. They're what propel us. And questions are nowhere more prevalent and more comprehensive than in the hearts and minds of children.

In Kyle Hughes-Odgers latest picture book, he asks the reader a series of questions designed to make them think, ponder, and assess the possibility of how the world works.

But don't be fooled. This is far from your typical 'information' book. It has a narrative to it that defies its text.

What spins the earth? What do ghosts do all day? Do colours smell? Can a skeleton have an x-ray? Who keeps my memories so I don't forget?

I can hear a pin drop as children sit, open-mouthed, at the quiet existential nature of this picture book. Such a simple concept but one drenched in thought and meaning.

Divine, iconic imagery that Kyle is becoming renowned for, is a beautiful dance of near and far vignettes and scenes, using his delicately-drawn construction and patterning, a muted colour palette and an almost post-Apocalyptic style, with a hint of Andean tribal/folk. I love the design elements and the cleverness and magical text interpretation on each and every page.

Quiet. Powerful. Stunning to explore in both a visual and thoughtful sense, this one deserves a sticker or three.

Title: Can a Skeleton Have an X-Ray?
Author/Illustrator: Kyle Hughes-Odgers
Publisher: Fremantle Press, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 21 October 2015
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9781925162691
For ages: 3 - 8
Type: Picture Book