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

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Review: Magritte's Apple

I just adore biographical picture books. They contain two of my favourite genres--biography and picture book--what's not to love? A fascinating life, exquisite artwork, adventure...

In Magritte's Apple, Klass Verplancke has created a succinct, accessible and delightful account of the life of Belgian surrealist artist--René Magritte.

The story begins with René being unable to paint. He so wants to be an artist but doesn't know how. What is his 'thing'? So, he paints an apple. Which becomes a hat.

An applehat.
He then paints butterleaves--a butterfly/leaf hybrid, branchpipes (branches growing out of a pipe) and spectacleggs (can you guess?). Eggs also become birds. Shoes turn into feet. The most simple, basic objects become works of art in the most unexpected ways.

And so becomes the artist.

At the back of the book, we are treated to a series of René's real life paintings, and readers are invited to hunt through them and find objects from the book.

Verplancke's retro modern illustrations are beautifully-crafted, and the book's story line is both simple and strange, making it a read for even the very young (kids so relate to 'strange'!). The endpapers are divine, the cover is heavenly.

A curious, imaginative book that will entrance adults, too.

Title: Magritte's Apple
Author/Illustrator: Klaas Verplancke
Publisher: Thames & Hudson, $29.99
Publication Date: 1 October 2016 
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9780500651032
For ages: 4 - 8
Type: Picture Book


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