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

Monday, 22 February 2016

Review: The Bathing Costume

Subtitled The Worst Vacation of My Life, this gorgeously-illustrated book is a high text story (would suit older or independent picture book readers) that so many kids could relate to. And many an adult would have major flashbacks, too.

Myron is going on extended holiday at Grandma and Grandpa's house in the country. His grandparents live in an overgrown home and don't even have a telephone, so Myron is feeling a little desolate. Grandma tells him they'll have to write some old fashion letters to mum and dad back at home.

When Myron's cousins turn up, things are irkier still. You know--short-sheeting beds and  chasing with the hose and all that kind of rough-and-tumble stuff. And no mama's arms to snuggle into.

But the boys also ride their bikes without helmets. And my, that's amazing. King of the road. And there's stunt ramps for the bikes, made from logs and planks, too. It's jitter-making, but there's loads of laughing, too.

It's when the kids go to the local book and the 10-foot diving board (a right of passage for kids in the family) that things become terrifying for Myron once more. He has to borrow a swimsuit, and it's way too big. Can he make the dive in front of his teasing cousins without losing his dacks?

This is a slice-of-life, right-of-passage story about growing up, about family and memories and the things that stay with us long after we're grown. It's a perfect summer holiday tale--full of good, bad, ugly and exhilarating, and it will warm the heart of any reader.

Olivier Tallec's illustrations are typically lustrous and languidly cool--sheer delight. This would make a great transition for those wanting higher text picture books, and would be fabulous to read aloud to a class.

Title: The Bathing Costume
Author: Charlotte Moundlic
Illustrator: Olivier Tallec
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books, $25.50 RRP
Publication Date: 28 May 2013
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9781592701414
For ages: 6 - 10
Type: Picture Book, high text

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