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

Sunday 19 June 2016

Review: What is a Child?

Beatrice Alemagna's work could never be described as pedestrian or mainstream. It's the kind of work that's clearly soul-led, and perhaps something you either resonate with, or you don't.

I do.

In this warmly-narrated tome, we learn about children. How they are small. But they only stay small for a little while. They do grow. And they do so even without thinking about it.

Children are often in a hurry to grow up. They look to adulthood and how cool it will be--no one to answer to, making all the decisions, flying free. An irony, then, that once these kids grow up, they tend to think how hard it is to be an adult, to have to decide everything yourself, how hard it is to feel free.

Children also want strange things. Like lollipops for breakfast. They stick their fingers in their noses and say and do things that make adults go 'oh!'.

What is a Child? is just a delight--with conversational text and beautifully-rendered illustrations that are free of stereotype, oftentimes peculiar, and always alive with texture and colour. A collectible tome, the book would make a wonderful conversation piece for children of many ages.

Title: What is a Child?
Author/Illustrator: Beatrice Alemagna
Publisher: Tate, $29.99
Publication Date: 1 February 2016
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9781849764124
For ages: 5 -10
Type: Picture Book