First up, while I have been busy with Big Life Business (more on that later) I’m well aware at just how slack I’ve been with the blogging and the reviewing and what not. So rather than promising hundreds of reviews and then not delivering, I’ve written and scheduled a whole week of review-ey goodness! It’s all done, which means no-one needs to rely on me to actually do anything but watch the dates go by. So Monday to Friday next week stay tuned for 5 reviews of some recent YA titles. (that’s the promise part).
Now, a review and some news. I recently found out that I’m expecting my very own little person to read to and play with. It’s all very exciting and also terrifying BUT the relevance that it has to this blog is that it’s made me very aware of the books that I’ll be reading to him. This realisation coincided quite nicely with a publisher sending me a brand spanking new copy of Gus Gordon’s new book, Herman and Rosie to review, so although my focus will still be predominantly YA, you can expect to see a few picture books popping up here and there as I prepare myself for endless hours of reading to my little person. Forgive me though, because I’m not used to reviewing picture books so it may take me a while to find my groove with it!
Herman and Rosie had me at hello, because it reminded me of one of my favourite animated features, Mary and Max. The story is of two people alone amongst the hustle and bustle of a big city. Sometimes they love it, love to breathe the city air and be surrounded by the energy and business, but when things go wrong Herman and Rosie each lose their creative spark and feel more alone and low than ever.
We literally watch their paths cross on the beautiful, intricate maps that dot the pages, and I imagine that readers will delight in pointing out all of the things Herman and Rosie share, following the journey eagerly in the hope that the two, clearly destined to be the best of friends, shall meet.
You can see a teaser of the book below, an image taken from Gus Gordon’s website.
I love both the pictures and the text of this book, there’s a business and a simplicity in both. Everything is easy to understand, words easy to pick out, no big swathes of text for young readers to trip over. But at the same time nothing is so simple that one glance is enough. You have to keep going back and looking again, getting drawn into the layers of words and pictures and finding something new each time.
I’d like to bet that everyone finds a favourite page in this one, both little people and big ones. It might be the evocative colours you love, or the detailed and personalised maps. Or it might be watching Herman and Rosie in their elements – playing groovy jazz and singing from the rooftops of their (actually quite close by) apartment buildings. Whatever it is, there’s going to be something you’ll love in Gus Gordon’s book and I can’t wait to have a brand new person to share it with.
Also, Leigh Hobbs will be launching the book in Melbourne later this month so you can actually go and meet Gus and grab yourself a signed copy. Check out the details here and get along to the Little Bookroom on the 22nd. I went to the launch of Anna Walker’s Peggy last weekend and not only was it a cracking good time, but we got a delicious biscuit in the shape of a chicken!