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Box of Tricks

Posted on Apr 14, 2010

Katie Cleminson
(Red Fox)

This is by no means a new publication; I had been meaning to buy Katie Cleminson’s first book,  ever since it originally got published  in May 2009 but never got round to it. I remedied to that at the FCBG conference as I knew she would be there and would go and listen to her speak.

For her birthday, Eva gets a special present: a cardboard box, which soon becomes her box of tricks, once she realises after jumping inside that she can perform magic!

Her first trick is to conjure a pet, but Monty is just a little bit bigger than anticipated!

After plenty of fun and of course a lovely birthday tea party, everyone is getting rather tired and Eva makes everything vanish … well, almost!

The beauty of Katie Cleminson’s drawings are their simplicity. She uses three colours only: black, red and blue; all the characters are drawn in black and white ink (Eva also has a touch of red), and there is a wonderful backdrop of multicoloured paint splatters and drops. This conjures the sense of magic hanging in the air.

The story is simple, with little text but is very lovely, and celebrates children’s sense of imagination. After all, we have all witnessed what kind of adventure can be had when children are left to play with a simple cardboard box!

A beautiful first book from a well deserved Booktrust 2009 Best Emerging Illustrator Award.
Her second book Wake Up! will be out at the end of the month, and I very much look forward to her third book, Otto, of which we got a tiny review last week-end and which will be out in June 2011.

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