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

Friday, 19 February 2016

Review: Spellbound

I’ve long been a fan of Melbourne artist Maree Coote’s books for children. The typographic illustrations in Alphabet City Zoo and Letters to Melbourne are quite fascinating and every time I read these books, I’m impressed once again at how it is possible to create such engaging images using only letters in different colours and fonts.

When I heard about Maree’s latest book, Spellbound, I was prepared to once again be impressed and intrigued and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, my level of appreciation was taken up several levels as this book shares not only the fascinating typographic illustrations, but also information about how the images are created and inspiration and advice to help readers attempt their own alphabet pictures.

The book includes 120 pages featuring pictures of animals, iconic buildings, famous people (modern celebrities and historical figures) and a wealth of information on how to most effectively use different fonts and letter sizes to create stunning images. The book is fascinating to browse. Young (and not so young) readers will enjoy looking for the letters that make up each image and appreciate the clever way different fonts and letter sizes, and slight adjustments in the placement of letters, can have a big impact on the appearance of an image.

I’ve browsed through this book with my children, enjoying their delight (and my own) as I spot figures that I recognise including Julia Gillard, Einstein, Ned Kelly, David Gulillil, Tim Minchin and Frida Kahlo along with some very endearing animals and familiar landmarks.

A fascinating book to have at home, Spellbound is also a fantastic classroom resource and an excellent reference book for artists and anyone interested in typography.

Highly recommended and thoroughly enjoyable. Spellbound will indeed keep you spellbound with its ingenuity and creativity.

Title: Spellbound
Author/Illustrator: Maree Coote
Publisher: MelbourneStyle, $39.95 RRP
Publication Date: February 2016
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780992491727
For ages: 5 - adult
Type: Non-Fiction

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