A small pile of review books arrived in the post today. I’m super busy with writing deadlines at the moment, so I went to put them aside… but a picture book caught my attention. I was familiar with the author, Adam Wallace, and the illustrator, Andrew Plant. So I thought I’d have a quick flick through it. After flipping through a few pages I simply couldn’t put it back down. I was compelled to read it, study it, go over each page in great detail, read it to my daughter… and then review it. Because I can’t not tell you (oh look… a double negative) about this extraordinary book straight away. What is it? I hear you all shout.
It is a book with the deceptively simple title of SPARK. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it before.
It’s a book about a bushfire. It’s told from the perspective of the fire. And to say anything more would be to give away the joy and surprise of reading it for the first time.
Spark is written by Adam Wallace, the guy behind such wonderfully popular books as The Vanilla Slice Kid (shortlisted for a YABBA award this year), Accidentally Awesome and Jamie Brown is NOT Rich. He’s also the evil genius behind the awesome Zombie Inspiration book/course/website (go check it out).
Adam is known for his no-holds-barred humour, but with Spark he demonstrates that he is equally adept at lyrical, playful and intense words. This book is beautifully written, the words leaping off the page, demanding to be read out loud.
We tore through forests.
We flew over rivers.
We razed homes.
The clouds cried, but their tears sizzled off my back.
I am a HUGE fan of Andrew Plant’s work. He is an extraordinary illustrator and storyteller. Go take a look at his picture book, The Poppy. It’s one of my all-time favourite picture books. His illustrations for Spark are GORGEOUS! They live and breathe. They are soft and gentle, intense and ravenous, and captivatingly striking.
This is such an amazing book, I just want to keep going. But I’m running out of superlatives here. I would like to highly recommend that you all (whether you have kids or not… because a great picture book is not just for children) rush out and buy this book straight away… but it doesn’t get released until October. But you can go and order it! I really think you should.
Catch ya later, George
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