This latest collaboration between author and illustrator is a playful guide to creating a picture book, written as if a disgruntled author is complaining to the reader about how it all went wrong. The author sits in his shed working on a book that is recognisably Ahlberg: “Little ducks dreaming/Afternoon nap/Riverbank steaming/Crocodile…Snap!” But the creative process doesn’t run smoothly. The cat interferes (chased by a fox), an unexpected holiday intervenes, and snails eat holes in a page. Then there’s friend Bruce, the illustrator, who thinks a hippo would be better than a crocodile: “too many crocodile books”; then the editor, who prefers a dinosaur; then the designer, who likes to experiment with different fonts; and, finally, the printer, whose helpful daughter mixes up the versions. The result, displayed on fold-out pages, feature both the author’s preferred version, Crocodile Snap, and the jumbled My Worst Book Ever; neither of which are the book that we hold in our hands. If there is some disappointment that Crocodile Snap itself is seen only in tiny scale, 22 mini pages on a double page, then the humour and imagination in surrounding book are a delight, not the least in the voice of the preoccupied, anxious, long-suffering author, facing an apparent conspiracy of circumstance and well-meaning interference in bringing his hard won story to life. Ahlberg also leaves the reader with a challenge. For, before the book ends, he begins what looks like a very unpromising tale of two spiders, and asks “What could possibly go wrong?” as if inviting us to produce not only a proper story from his beginning but also an alternative mangled version.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Richard Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Richard Hill2018-03-05 11:36:002021-06-08 08:28:30My Worst Book Ever
Illustrator: Bruce Ingman