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

Wednesday 13 September 2023

Review: I'm Your Favourite Book

‘I’m your favourite book…

and my happy ending is written in your heart.’

This gorgeous book is indeed ‘a reminder of how the books we read as children stay with us forever.

Told from the point of view of the actual book itself, this work depicts one of those story-books which is so very loved that its stitching is loose and some of its pages have flown away in the wind. 

It’s covered in scribble and hand-drawn pictures, and we see it being read under tables and on beaches. 

This book has been loved to bits, literally. It is wrinkled, dishevelled and just a little bit sticky. And it’s an absolute joy.

The favourite book in question is The Wizard Of Oz. Cleverly, this is never directly mentioned in the text but rather, is revealed as one of the many heartwarming subtleties and textural layers within the narrative.

The wording itself is direct and clear. It instantly transports the reader into the world of the story in an unusual, fun and compelling manner which intertwines adventure with nostalgia and love.

Wonderfully, amazingly, some of the illustrations from the decades-old, original Wizard Of Oz have found their way into the illustrations of I’m Your Favourite Book. Illustrator Jess Racklyeft’s divinely detailed, smudgy, colourful and inspired art captures the emotion and forward momentum of the narrative, while her ‘book dedication’ is to the team at Melbourne’s Baldessin Press. It seems that at Baldessin, she may have created etchings or prints of images from the original book, to include as both endpapers and features within the illustrations.
It's interesting to note that although these older illustrations have a very different aesthetic quality to current-day picture books (and could be considered a little unfriendly or slightly ominous), they’re actually very effective. They create an old-worldly ambience, as well as providing a stark point of contrast and talking point around I’m Your Favourite Book.

There’s so much to see, smell, taste, touch and feel in this book! It’s completely evocative and will definitely provoke discussion on many levels.

Simply wonderful.

I’m Your Favourite Book
Author: Maggie Hutchings
Illustrator: Jess Racklyeft
Publisher: Affirm Press, $19.99
Publication Date: 27 June 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781922863546
For ages: 4 +
Type: Picture Book