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

Thursday 17 May 2018

Review: An Indian Beach

Welcome to the magical, ever-bustling world of an Indian beach.

Seen through the eyes of French artist Joelle Jolivet, at Chennai, in South India, this wordless picture book captures the never-ending activity and sensory delights of Elliot's Beach, from dawn to dusk.

Visually captivating, the book is printed on a long, continuous strip that can either be viewed in different sections or opened into a large circle.

One side shows the amazing scenes of beach life. We see the fishing boats pushed out at dawn, women selling fish and men repairing nets. Throughout the day, there are commuters and joggers jostling with goats and dogs and other animals, vendors spruiking their wares and young lovers hiding in the shadows.

After the lull during the heat of the afternoon, the beach comes alive again at dusk, with street vendors selling food, families gathering, and children frolicking in the waves.

Then, slowly, the beach becomes quiet as the fishermen rest in preparation for their early-morning start once more.

Jolivet's commentary is written on the sleeve of the cover, but she invites readers to bring their own stories to the pictures, and even colour the striking black-and-white linocut scenes where the only hue is the blue of the ocean. This is continued on the inside of the strip, which is adorned with schools of recognisable fish and other sea creatures.

It's a glorious glimpse of another world that will encourage exploration and ignite imaginations.

Title: An Indian Beach
Author/Illustrator: Joelle Jolivet
Publisher: Tara Books, $29.98
Publication Date: September 2017
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9789383145676
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book