Antje Damm. Wellington, NZ: Gecko Press, hb, 9 781 776 571 888, 2018, £10.99, 32pp.
Fiction, picture book, 5+ years
This small exquisite book carries its message about loneliness and friendship subtly and skillfully.
The artwork is a diorama of a house interior, a sort of dolls house, with superimposed photographs and graphic drawings, each of which has great depth and luminosity. Colour is used skillfully as the story moves from isolation and loneliness to a happier outcome.
Elise is a nervous scared older woman, scared of spiders, people, trees and she lives alone in a house that is all greys and browns and sepia tones. One day when she opens the window a pale blue paper aeroplane flies in and her life changes. A young boy comes to reclaim his plane and brings life and colour and friendship into Elise’s life. This is an exceptionally fine picture book that deserves to become well known in the UK.
Winner of the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book in 2018.
Review by Pam Dix