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

Sunday 11 October 2020

Review: The Kiosk

The Kiosk is a story about being stuck and the unpredictable journey of a character named Olga.

Olga has been working at the kiosk a long time, she knows all the regular customers, the times they arrive and their unique traits. From a man with a crazy dog and a toddler who screams for a lollipop, to the tourists who can never find the modern art museum, Olga is always there to assist.

The illustrations and text work together to subtly explain that Olga has grown obese during her time at the kiosk. She physically can’t leave, so she spends her nights there; squished up next to soda cans, reading magazines and distantly dreaming of travel to a place with splendid sunsets. Then, in a series of events, Olga’s world literally and figuratively turns upside down, resulting in a new beginning and refreshing change.

I love how the story shows Olga’s situation in a simple, non-judgemental way and follows her journey which could be interpreted as the result of luck, fate, karma or simply going with the flow and following an unknowing path to somewhere new and better.

The painted illustrations show an abundance of character, motion and moment while the hand-written text, colour palette and scene compositions deliver an intriguing style. The cover features a kiosk window cutout. When you open the book, you see the inside of the kiosk, it’s a cute and unique feature. My kids love to pop their faces behind the cut-out and pretend to sell magazines and drinks, just like Olga. 

The Kiosk was originally published in Latvia in 2019 with the title Kiosks, details of an animated version are available in the book’s cover.

Title: The Kiosk
Author/Illustrator: Anete Melece
Publisher: Gecko Press, $27.99
Publication Date: 7 October 2020
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781776572991
For ages: 7 – 8
Type: Picture Book