This is a picture book for word lovers. The author Glenda Millard is a master of words. The book feels like poetry without being laboured or poetic for the sake of it. The language is accessible for children but not in children's language.
I have so many favourite lines from the book but here are a couple:
He put his ear to the downy heart of her and heard hope beating there,
So Grandpapa turned the rusty latchkey of his magnificent remembery and set free a symphony of stories.
... there is line after line of loveliness in this book. It's like a word therapy.
The book itself is about a time when humankind is forced to retreat underground because of the damage they have done to earth, all of this is suggested rather than stated, and it has no overt preachy environmental tone or fear mongering. Instead the book is about Grandpapa and Peterboy who share an existence 'built with care, lit with love' and how the arrival of Idaduck changes the story for them and ultimately shows them the hope of new beginnings.
Stephen Michael King, the illustrator, is a great choice for the text. He allows the words to speak and elevates the telling of the words in the way he integrates them with the text. The detail allows you to explore the page, which is important to me when a picture book is text rich - the illustrations hold their own and the listener won't be rushing to turn the page (which sometimes happens with us if the picture is 'finished' but not the text).
This is a book to read aloud to yourself and to others. I will be reading it again and again and savouring the words and pictures. A treat for little and big people that celebrates love, relationship, care and little things.
Published: Allen and Unwin Children, 26 March 2014
Hardback, RRP $24.99 Aus
You'll be seeing more lovely Allen and Unwin books from me this year - which I am very excited about. Good books, good people. :o)
love you more than a sentence that makes you sigh with happiness xxx