Emily Gravett
(Macmillan Children’s Books)

It is nearly bedtime for Cedric the dragon but there is just enough time for a quick story. Unfortunately for his mum, Cedric has a favourite book which he wants read again, and again, and again. When Mum fails to deliver, Cedric goes all tantrumy on her, with incendiary consequences!

A new Emily Gravett is always cause for celebration, and Again! is no disappointment. Gravett uses the theme of a book within a book, with both stories interacting with one another and blurring the boundaries between Cedric’s reality and the fiction of his favourite book. The colour scheme is integral to the storytelling also with the artwork mainly in shades of green and red: little Cedric goes from the former to the latter gradually as he gets less sleepy, more angry and frustrated with his mother, while the dragon in his story becomes sleepier and greener.

Of course, every parent will relate to Again! We have all been there: reading the same story for what feels like the millionth time, falling half asleep while reading a book. Gravett “talks” to the adult audience as much as she does to her targeted audience, which makes her books such successes.

And again, Gravett surprises us with a witty, creative and visually stimulating ending. For her, the book as object is as important to tell the story as the pages. She makes use of all the physical object has to offer. And it works, wonderfully. Her style is entirely her own, and she is simply unsurpassed in the picture book world. A truly inspiring and inspired artist, every child should own at least one book by Emily Gravett, and Again! is certainly is a great one to begin with.

All illustrations © Emily Gravett

Many thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books for providing a review copy of “Again!”.