Once upon a time…

It’s always nice to see new interpretations of fairytales, particularly an illustrator’s interpretations of favourite characters.  There have recently been several outstanding new additions to our collection of fairytales for you to feast your eyes on.

Lucy Cousins’ Yummy is one of my favourite books of the year because of her bright, bold illustrations and her uncensored versions of some of the best fairytales for young children.  The appeal of this book is the graphic nature of the illustrations, such as in Little Red Riding Hood we see Red and Granny being swallowed by the wolf and the wolf’s head flying across the page after being chopped off by the Woodsman.  In The Three Little Pigs the wolf is boiled in the pot and eaten by the pigs.  I particularly like the horrible looking troll in The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  This is a great fairytale collection particularly for boys as there are no princesses in sight.

Fairy Tales by Berlie Doherty and Jane Ray is a reprint of their popular classic originally published in 2000.  Walker Books is one of my favourite publishers as they always publish great books that are beautifully designed.  Classic Fairy Tales is one of the titles that Walker have re-released in stunning paperback editions that are easier to hold and read. This collection includes a wonderful selection of popular fairytales, such as Cinderella, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, and Rumpelstiltskin, retold by Berlie Doherty with magical illustrations by Jane Ray.  One of the things I like most about this book is that every page is decorated with colourful borders that match the story. This collection is perfect for older children, especially those girls that love princesses.

Boys of the High Country

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on a farm, miles away from any town with only your family for company?  For some people this may be your worst nightmare, but for Ben and Mark Smith this is a life they love.  Ben and Mark: Boys of the High Country is a great new book from Random House New Zealand, written by Christine Fernyhough and John Bougen that gives an interesting insight into life at Mount White Station in the Canterbury High Country which is managed by Ben and Mark’s parents, Richard and Sheri.  The book illustrates what life is like for the boys who have grown up helping out on the farm.  It is filled with information on farming life, such as the animals they look after, their daily routines and what they do for fun. 

The easy to read text and stunning photos make this a great book for children and adults, and would be a wonderful educational resource for teachers.