One of the greatest things about having a child, is having an excuse to read lots and lots of kids' books. The only problem is that I get fussy about the illustration - I want things to either be completely twee and lifted out of an Edwardian nursery, or retro cool and oozing with the design vibe of the 1970s. This is why I've become a fan of Flying Eye Books, the children's imprint of the awesome Nobrow Press.
I love the bold colour palette, and the striking graphics. But FEB don't just look good, they have compelling stories too. (And fab titles - I can't wait for My Dad Used to be So Cool!)
We were sent The Journey by Francesca Sanna to review, and I was really intrigued to see how a book aimed at young children would tackle an issue which so many of us adults find difficult to comprehend - the plight of refugees attempting to reach safety.
The answer: brilliantly.
The art is beautiful, bold and powerful, but still whimsical. The words are carefully chosen, and always feel just right. Marianna is still too young to understand, but I was so moved I cried.
My parents were surprised when they visited and flicked through, drawn in by the gorgeous cover art. They had never really associated picture books with serious messages, but they agreed that it worked well. Because you don't need oceans of text to explain something that impacts on all of us.
We all feel alone and afraid sometimes. We all want to feel safe.
We're all human.
This is an excellent book for starting discussion with children, and helping them to understand stories they hear in the media. You can get it from the Flying Eye Books website for £12.99.
Flying Eye Books also sent us two extra books for Marianna. It was a lovely touch, and we have had great fun reading the counting book Clap, Clap! by Madalena Madoso.
Anthony was especially taken by At the Beach: First Words by Katja Spitzer. In his own words, it was like if 'Ikea did Ladybird', which I think ties into what I so like about Flying Eye Books - they're a modern company, dealing with modern issues, but they haven't lost sight of the traditional values of children's publishing. Learning should be fun, and there is no reason why any book should ever be dull!
For more of my reviews, click the picture below: