ACHUKA Book of the Day 28 Jul 2022
This picture book — a collaboration between a poet from New Zealand and an illustrator from the UK — is going to be a strong contender for one of ACHUKA’s 5 Books of 2022.
It opens with a young boy playing chase with a cloud, and then, alongside the cloud, with the waves.
I chase the waves
And the waves chase me
Can’t catch me, Waves
Can’t catch me
But all of a sudden the mood changes. The wind, in a demonstration of its force, pushes the cloud out to sea. In a vertical spread
With one last snort of greedy glee
Wind pushes Cloud
The boy is left standing on a rock, with his small dog at his side, while the cloud beseeches
Catch the wind, my sweet, for me
Catch the wind
and set me free
And an exciting, boisterous adventure, exuberantly illustrated, begins, involving thunder, wild seas and falling beneath the waves. What is most striking about this title, in comparison with so many picture books for young children, is its preparedness to scare and frighten. There is real fierceness, for instance, in the spread reading
The wind/howls louder,/shrieking by/You want to play, Boy? stakes are high/With gale force strength he whips the sea/Churning waves and churning me
The book is only available in paperback which is a shame. But it is a substantial, sturdy paperback with a pleasingly embossed cover, and an exceptional value for its cover price of £6.99.
Very highly recommended.
Last summer (June 2021) Hannah Peck was a subject of the Meet An Illustrator feature.
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