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

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Review: The Artist

The boy in the boat prefers to paint at least one picture before breakfast. 

Everything is quiet and still then, especially the sea which he loves. There is still enough light and shadow for his brush to copy. 

When the winds are wrong, and his art time is terminated, scribbling over the page is an impulse that has to be checked.

Young Dog, his constant companion, also loves the sea.

His eyes and ears are always alert to anything in the scrub which he can chase. Old Dog prefers to stay curled up in the kitchen and only dry sand will tempt her out.

The rain gives the boy an alternate opportunity. He copies birds from his Bird Book. Later, if the rain stops, he will join his friend the Storyteller for a bike ride. If Grandma comes by, he will play piano for her.

When not sitting in his boat to paint, the Artist has a favourite rock on which he leans his palette to mix his colours.

Can he catch the movement of the waves and the wind on the page?

The illustrations in The Artist are exceptional. Fragile watercolour images of the sea sit lightly on the pages. Vivid ones appear when the boy, dog and boat are revealed.

The brilliant birds the boy paints on rainy days are also found in large copies on the end pages. This stunning introduction to the contents impacts on the senses when you open the cover.

There is no denying that this publication is a superior one. The paper is of excellent quality, as if anything less, would not do justice to the art work that author-illustrator Alison Binks has worked on. Dedicated to her son that she depicts in the illustrations; the pages appear to be filled with loving strokes.

This gorgeous title reflects the freedom creativity and imagination can bring to a child. The peaceful atmosphere of this charming book is soothing. In reading it, I felt a strong sense of calm and great satisfaction. The images transported me to the sea, the dock, the rocks and the boat. I loved it for its total beauty.

Title: The Artist
Author/Illustrator: Alison Binks
Publisher: Berbay Books, $26.95
Publication Date: March 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780648397380
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book