It’s time to focus in on picture books again and today I have a delightful pair of companion board books from UK illustrator Katie Abey, provided to us by Five Mile Press. In her own words, Abey admits to filling her work with “puns and crazy animals” – check out her website…it’s puntastic! – and her cheeky, bright appealing illustrations are what prompted us to request today’s titles for perusal – Basket Cat and Dog House. The two books feature separate stories, but will look like peas in a complimentary pod on your shelf.
Here is the blurb for Basket Cat from Goodreads:
Basket Cat loves baskets – big baskets and small baskets, tall baskets and even the washing basket! But all Basket Cat wants is a basket of her very own.
Where will she find one?
With a humorous story and amusing artwork this large board book will be enjoyed by children and adults alike!
And here’s what Goodreads has to say about Dog House:
Toby is lost. He knows his dog house is around here somewhere, but he can’t seem to remember where to find it!
Will Toby ever find his way home?
We were immediately drawn to the bold colours of the front covers and the adorably quizzical looks of the animal protagonists and I suspect these features will appeal enormously to the little people at whom these books are pitched. The younger mini-fleshling demanded the reading of the pair as soon as she laid eyes on them and after due consideration, pronounced Basket Cat her favourite of the two. This could be because we share the dwelling with a cat of similar features to Basket Cat, while the dog of the dwelling bears little resemblance to the protagonist of Dog House.
And rarely, if ever, ends up in trees.
The stories are fairly simple, but the extra details provided in the illustrations add a level of humour to the short bursts of text. Basket Cat’s baskety dreams are quite amusing and the cranky faces of the bees disturbed by Toby (the dog) certainly provide some subtle character development that can be pointed out to attentive little ones. Once again though, as is the case for many picture books featuring animals, facial expressions are everything and Abey seems to have the knack for creating hilarity and changes in emotion with just a few small changes in penstroke.
Can I also mention how much I appreciate the board book format? As a Bookshelf Gargoyle I spend a lot of time watching helplessly as mini-fleshlings systematically (with intent or otherwise) destroy picture books, so the sturdy, chewable, wipe-worthy format in which these books are presented goes a long way to ease my troubled mind.
I suspect Katie Abey will be one to watch as an up-and-comer in the picture book scene and I will be interested to see what she hatches next, if the quality of these, her debut efforts, are anything to go by.
Until next time,