The Dark: Lemony Snicket & Jon Klassen (Orchard Books, 2013)
I have started writing a review for The Dark many times over. I just seem to end up being overly negative every time, which it doesn’t deserve. This is one of the most highly anticipated picture books of the year, a collaboration of two of the finest contemporary children’s book creators. But anticipation is a duel edged sword and knowing the talent behind this book I think I was expecting something other than it is.
There is nothing wrong with this book. It is a very good picture book. Not every book will be loved by every family, and this one didn’t work for us. So instead of struggling with words, I’ll leave you with this fantastic trailer, narrated by Neil Gaiman, which gives you the first few spreads of the book and a very good feel of the story. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of The Dark by Hachette Childrens Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.
I Want My Hat Back: Jon Klassen
(Walker Books, 2011)
I have been meaning to buy this book for months, but I decided to wait for the paperback and what a very long wait it has been… This book is absolutely worth the wait on the one hand, but oh how I wish I’d got it earlier on the other! If you’ve read any other children’s book blogs in the last year, you probably already know about this book and the story but are maybe wondering if it can really be as good as everyone says it is? It can, and it is.
This is a simple story of a bear looking for his hat. He walks along, asking every animal he meets whether they’ve seen his hat, to which they invariably answer in the negative (if at all).
“Okay. Thank-you anyway.”
Then he realises that he has seen his hat on the way. Did you notice it as you went through the story? Did you listen to what the rabbit said? This book is wonderful for children to sit up and take notice. It does have a fantastically macabre twist making this a book very much fun for adults to read as well as children.
I also love how simple the text is, it is possible for MG to read quite large chunks of this book although because of the repetition she tends to race ahead and have to stop and look again where the words actually change (this is a good thing, getting her to concentrate on what she’s reading instead of just guessing all the words!) It works well as an early reader. All the text is speech, who is speaking is differentiated by the colour of the text: subtle and effective.
The bear may love his hat; we love this book. Jon Klassen‘s second solo creation, This is Not My Hat has just been released in hardback and I will be adding it to our shelves very soon…
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