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

Monday 28 December 2015

Review: The Football's Revolt

First published in 1939, this divinely retro picture book harks back to a time when illustrated stories were highly detailed, with lengthy text and plenty of charm and whimsy.

In The Football's Revolt, the locals of Kickford (3,553 residents) and Goalbridge (33,556 residents) are immensely excited about their annual football match. As the game gets under way, however, our attention is brought to the football itself. It's the only being at the game who's not excited.

In fact, he's decidedly miserable.
He doesn't ever member being kicked this hard before. No one cares about this, of course, and he can hardly say anything because he can't even speak English. So he continues to be kicked, beaten, pushed and shoved, from one end of the field to the other. All those big, strong men, all against one little soccer ball.

Solution? That ball is OUTTA HERE!

I just loved this high-text story (full pages of text with complementary image) about a football who'll take it no more. I love the story's inherent, subtle messaging, the pondering characters, the realisations, the togetherness, and of course, that gutsy footy. There's plenty of action, humour and sensational characters, too.

I simply adore the imagery in this book. The colours are superb and the imaginative play on illustration is glorious--with my favourite page being the trees outside the footy grounds, peppered with leaf-like people high in the branches, peeking over the high fence to watch the game, and the tall tower of people attempting to pluck that ball from the sky.

Beautifully descriptive, this would make wonderful in-class reading with primary school students, and would also be ideal for older kids struggling to read.

Polish artists, Jan Le Witt and George Him, met in a cafe in Warsaw in 1933 and went on to produce internationally-recognised illustrations and designs. During the second world war, they created posters for the UK's General Post Office as well as the Ministry of War Transport and Food.

They also created murals and other children's books including Polish Panorama (1941), Five Silly Cats (1944) and The Little Red Engine Gets a Name (1942).

Title: The Football's Revolt
Author: Jan Le Witt
Illustrator: George Him
Publisher: V&A Publishing, $2.499 RRP
Publication Date: 1 September 2015
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9781851778478
For ages: 6 - 12
Type: Picture Book