C K Smouha, illus. Eleonora Marton London: Cicada, hb, 978 1 90871 459 6, 2019, £9.95, 38pp.
Picture book, fiction, 5+ years
Phil and Dave are a pair. They spend time together, making jokes, chatting and playing games. Suddenly, they get separated. Without having each other, life seems scary. But why is their adventure unique? I can give you at least two reasons.
1) Phil and Dave are not like any other pair you know; they are a pair of white socks. Their favourite time of the week is the wash. They have a lot of fun spinning, stretching and whirling in a washing machine full of clothes. Until one day Phil loses Dave and ends up in the pocket of a red shirt.
2) *spoiler alert* Phil and Dave do get back together, but Phil looks different. He has turned pink! Can they still be a pair after this unexpected change?
This brilliant picture book can spark thought-provoking conversations on the nature of human relationships, belonging and identity in a comic way. Reading it from a different perspective, it can even raise questions about homosexuality and diversity. The story is supported fantastically by Eleonora Marton’s crayon illustrations and vibrant colours. Artistic highlight: the front cover with its round hole creatively resembles a washing machine.
Review by Dr Lina Iordanaki