So there's this book....it's new to our household....and it's already made itself at home, finding a semi-permanent place on the bookshelf. I say 'semi-permanent' because it never sits there for long.
It's always moving about. It's been in the car for the past couple of days. Resting happily between the car seats, until two sets of hands reach for it at the same time, and then what was once a place of quiet solitude, erupts into a tiny little spot of hell on earth.
'You read it last time!'
'I only read it for one minute, you had it for hours!'
'You can read it all day, I've only got five minutes before school!'
Ahh....the serenity that books bring.
I love this book. I actually bought it for myself. I do that sort of thing. If my kids happen to like said books, then all the better, but make no mistake - they are for ME.
I even have a bookshelf in my writing room that is WAY out of kiddie reach, and it's full of toys and kids books - MY toys and kids books.
But this book, I let them have. It is just TOO much fun not to share.
I found it, squashed into a bursting bookshelf in my local Dymocks, about a month ago. I could only see the spine - but it's a great spine.
I jimmied the book out, sat on the floor and read it out loud.
Don't be scared, I'm perfectly normal, I assure you. I just happen to like wandering around the kids section of bookstores, reading the picture books out loud, and then buying them for myself.
On this day, I did have one of my children hanging around, 'reading' books of her own, but mine was better and I made sure to tell her so. I then called her over and she plonked her little self into my lap and there we sat, pouring over this visual and rhythmical feast for at least fifteen minutes.
It's a MYSTERY....ohhhh....in rhyme...ahhh....and it is BRILLIANT.
I mean, look at it -
Now look at this...
Now read this OUT LOUD...just a small exert to show you how much fun it is to read...
The language is SO well paced and gorgeous and SO MUCH FUN TO READ. My kids LOVE the hell out of it. I love the hell out of it. And make no mistake, when I said earlier that they fought over 'reading it' - the four year old obviously can't 'read' it, but that doesn't stop her having a red hot go -
I actually have a video of this gorgeous human reading this book, but if we waited for me to figure out how to upload it here, she would be 16 before I posted the blog.
Sublime rhyme (yes, I know what I did there) and out of this world illustrations. Now, I've said before on my page 'Illustrators I Adore', that I know nothing of this 'drawing business' that so many of you seem so apt at, BUT I know what I like and I like this. It's cool. The pictures are COOL. I cannot fathom what this book would have been like without these pictures.
Somebody got this very, very right.
There is something to be said for having such items in your house. Interesting, quirky books and art and THINGS that remind us that the world can be so beautiful in so many varied ways. Go out at buy this now. Buy all sorts of books for your kids (and yourself if you're like me) that are fun and smart and gorgeous.
Your life will truly be better for it.
Power to you James Thorp and Angus Mackinnon - love your work.
And if I haven't referenced it properly....please don't sue me.
Title - The Elephant in the Room
Author - James Thorp
Illustrator - Angus Mackinnon
Published by - Templar Publishing, 2017