Two Admirals ¦ The Little Hare Book ¦ The Twenty Elephant Restaurant
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The illustration on our cover is from the newly-published Robert Cormier novel Beyond the Chocolate War, (Gollancz, 0 575 03711 3, £7.95). The illustration is by Caroline Binch and shows in the centre Archie Costello, Assigner of the Vigils, holding the white ball which readers of The Chocolate War will remember as all important in deciding who undertakes the assignments that are required from certain unfortunate individuals. In this sequel new characters join him and the old return to play out Archie's last term at Trinity High. We are grateful to Gollancz for help in using this illustration.
The Little Hare Book
The Twenty Elephant Restaurant
Three more from the enterprising and always-interesting Pocket Bears series. McKee's fable about the two old men who retire to a village and fight it out as to who is best has characteristically splendid and kaleidoscopic pictures which sixes-up will enjoy. Older children will understand the idea at the heart of the book.
Janosch's is a collection of fourteen poems, rhymes and fables. Stylish pictures and sensitive placing of text in relation to them will guide readers from five to eight. Invitations to readers to be in on the writing of the book are a good idea, but the format of the book made it difficult. Some of the counting rhymes are fun and will be useful for read-aloud and sharing sessions, but, on the whole, the contents don't match the promising 'look' of the book.
Surreal text and pictures in the Blake and Hoban collaboration. Surface text tells the story of the old couple who open a restaurant; eights-up who've been brought up on Mr Magnolia and Not the Nine O'Clock News will read it as the rich, extended verbal joke that it is. What happens to language when you stretch it as far as it will go? As with some other books in this series, I sometimes missed the expansiveness I think the pictures need.