I’ve bought so many book ‘bargains’ over the years that I can’t think where to start. I used to live in the cheap bookshops as a student, bringing home piles of SF and Fantasy and reading them when I should have been revising. Sadly, most of the shops that I bought many books from no longer exist.
Then there are all the charity shop bargains. All the books with the covers I remember from my childhood that I pounce on when I see and get to share with my children.
And, of course, the books that are just worth every penny and more because they are beautiful, or inspiring, or comforting, or everything all at once.
Many of my bargains these days are bought from The Book People, although it’s a two-edged sword. Some sets of books seem so low priced that I’ve been too tempted even though I know I’ll never read them so there were books that were bought and then went to charity without being read at all. I still think they’re a bargain though…
But today I’m going to choose a book that was so beautiful I hugged it when it arrived, a bargain at any price:
The Dawn Chorus: Suzanne Barton (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2014)
This is not only a physically beautiful book, but it tells a beautiful story. Peep loves to sing and wants to join the Dawn Chorus but he just can’t wake up in time to make it. He keeps trying, but it’s not in his nature. Why can’t he fit in with the other birds? Because he is not like them, but that’s okay because he is perfect just how he is.
I can’t help but love this story because I’m drawn to stories where characters don’t fit in but are accepted how they are, instead of being forced to conform. Everyone is different, and we all have our worth in the world. I hugged this book for that reason, and for how it is made too. The hardback is stunning. The cover is matt and printed on something that seems to have the texture of raw silk. The pages are also soft matt (I’m not keen on glossy) and the muted colours are a joy.
We were fortunate to have the chance to meet Suzanne as she decorated the window at Mostly Books. Mighty Girl (7) asked Suzanne how she made her pictures, so she talked about how she created the pictures with collage and paint. It was wonderful to hear her talk about each element on one page of the book, and the story behind it – this is a piece of antique paper from a French market, that was the skirt of a dress in a vintage magazine… She knew every piece that she’d used, and MG was very inspired by Suzanne’s passion (this might have something to do with all the scraps of wrappers and papers that MG has been squirrelling away for art purposes!)
We all love this book, and hugely recommend it – especially in the gorgeous hardback edition.
Disclosure: The Dawn Chorus received for review from Bloomsbury Children’s Books