We all have eyebrows, but do we ever contemplate them? Probably not, when we are Eleanor’s age anyway. However, this thoughtful girl knows what all her facial parts are for, except for these two ‘scruffy, hairy, little bits of fluff’. But eyebrows have feelings, so while Eleanor sleeps, they slide off her face to head for the Big Wide World. But like a lot of characters in such tales, they find life away from home is not so easy. They can’t be blamed for trying though: being a caterpillar isn’t much fun since the taste of leaves is unpalatable; it’s dangerous as the twirling moustache of a magician, and there are other occupational hazards such as handwarmers for beautiful lady beetles or tyres on a stick insect’s motorbike. It’s hard to invest eyebrows with character, especially when they are not attached to a face, but Tazzyman gamely tries with these two. Eleanor herself is far being short of character
Eyebrowless Eleanor is happy enough until her Granny throws a screaming fit at the sight of her grandchild. Nothing can really replace eyebrows, and suddenly Eleanor notices everyone has these facial appendages. And not only that, but eyebrows differ: squiggly, fat, sensible, mad – they come in all shapes and positions. A happy resolution occurs to this moral tale in which the messages are craftily concealed. Eyebrows discover the big, wide world is a tricky place, and Eleanor learns to appreciate what she already has, and the value of difference too.
Simple line and restrained colour balance an air of mock-seriousness with the absurdity of Eleanor’s situation. Knapman’s text is also restrained; it and the Courier typeface – very fashionable these days – reinforce a presentation that balances realism with the ridiculous.