A farting pony, a racially and culturally diverse cast, a mixed race main character as a young princess with a desire to be a champion warrior only for her birthday, instead of a warhorse, she receives an adorable little pony. Sounds good so far.
‘They didn’t notice that all he wanted was a hug.’
A textured tactile cover and adorable pencil illustrations, but an anticlimactic ending ruined what I thought would be a resolution full of love and affection from the power of a simple hug.
Reading Green Eggs and Ham to stubborn children is definitely a preferred alternative to torture. Introducing new foods to the very young can be a gruelling task, for parent and child alike. Seuss teaches that ‘new’ doesn’t automatically mean you’ll hate it. In that respect it kind of reminds me of The Croods with the ‘Anything new is bad’ ethos also being turned on its head.
Robot Girl is an Afrofuturistic version of Bernard Beckett’s Genesis for children, populated with a black cast of characters. Genesis is one of my all-time favourite books. It inverts expectations and examines what it means to be human and the value of emotions.
Flotsam, my first wordless picture book, feels age inappropriate. From what I gather picture books are generally aimed at 3 to 8-year-olds. I have doubts a child in that range would be able to fully comprehend the story without help from an elder. Does a 6-year-old know what a microscope is and what it’s used for? Will they understand the images shown at different magnifications? A few Goodreads reviews say that it doesn’t matter if a child understands or not, they might make up their own story.
Oliver’s illustrations are lovely, except for the ginger-haired child with what I can only describe as a pink phallic object on his forehead which appears in every depiction of him. What the hell is it? Perhaps I should just say what we’re all thinking – dickhead. It’s a perfect representation, no? Did the editor not notice this . . . appendage before printing? I mean, it’s kind of obvious. Is it some sort of unique Australian thing of which I’m unaware?
Having liked The Sleeper and the Spindle, I assumed I’d enjoy another reworked fairy tale by him.
Be warned, Gaiman doesn’t really rework Hansel and Gretel like he did with Sleeping Beauty, he just enlarges on it, adding minor changes along the way. Oddly I enjoyed this story more than any other by Gaiman, which probably tells you more about how much I like, or dislike, his work than anything else.
For the first time ever I like a Neil Gaiman novel. I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you.
It wasn’t until I came across a Guardian article with the below image that I decided to give Gaiman a another chance. I mean, how bad could a feminist retelling of Sleeping Beauty be? Besides, the library had a copy so only an investment of time would be required.