Thursday, 29 May 2014

Fiction Age 6 up

Swedish Writer and Illustrator

Rose Lagercrantz, illustrated by Eva Eriksson

My Heart is Laughing

Gecko Press 2014   $19.99pb 119pp

ISBN 978 1 8775 7951 6

Themes: Bullying/ Friendship/ One parent families/ Primary school life/ Sequels (stand alone)

We first met Dani in My Happy Life (Gecko Press 2012) and she loses none of her charm and exuberance in this new title. Living with her Dad in a one parent family, sad because her very best friend in the whole world, Ella, has moved away, Dani has a lot to worry about. No wonder she finds it hard to make new friends at school all of which ends in pinching (of flesh!), bullying, throwing of sauce bottles (some of which explodes in the long suffering (and large) teacher’s face and the general mayhem created by unhappy children. This is a wonderfully easily accessed story (it is translated by Julia Marshall) with really charming illustrations that mirror completely what we are reading in the text. {Please look at the expressions on the faces – perfect!) Apparently the writer and illustrator who are both Swedish, meet in a coffee shop at the beginning of the process where Rose (the writer) reads the story aloud to Eva (the illustrator) who then takes the script home and works on creating the images. Rose is not allowed to see the pictures until they are finished but then, as she says, she always feels they are even better than she could have imagined and she is happy.  I think this would be a great read-aloud.

Year 2 up/ Age 6

Last Thursday night (May 22nd) I went to a very enjoyable evening hosted by Paper Plus at Porirua (great NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults displays) and National Library. Julia Marshall spoke to us all about the new (and exciting) titles Gecko Press will be publishing (or have just published) over the next few months.

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