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A Beautiful Re-Working of a Classic Theme


A Christmas Tale with a Masterly Twist


A Perfect Novelty Book

Chick
A Perfect Novelty Book

 

 

From the cover onwards CHICK is a most pleasing book to look at. This is because of its wonderful design; simple shapes and a bold wiggly line describe with beautiful brevity the young chick and his everyday life after hatching from an egg. Whilst writing this review I had the book propped up in my studio for a couple of days; I realised that each time I looked up from whatever I was doing and caught a glimpse of one of its spreads it had an effect on me; it gave a feeling of happiness. What more could you ask from a book?

 

 

But there’s a lot more to this book than just looking good; it is a pop up book after all. If you are familiar with my book LOOK OUT LEON you’ll know that I am of the ‘less is more’ school when it comes to novelty books. I’m more interested in the application of a pop up or a movement than the degree of complication involved in its mechanics. While there is much to be admired in the skill involved in the paper engineering design (making a 3D egg shape open out of a two dimensional book is a small wonder in itself), it is the application of these movements which I most enjoy. A beak cracks through an egg, the chick rises up out of it, he cheeps and waves his wings etc. There are seven different coloured spreads, each containing a movement and these are well chosen to tell the ‘story’ of the chick’s new life. (There’s even a comedy moment which children will love when the chick poos).

 

I love the way that even in just seven spreads a story, albeit simplistic, is being told and as such it must work in the way that any story has to. It must represent its subject, be devoid of any boring bits and build to a climax, which brings me to the sheer delight which is the last spread. Here Mr Vere has thrown in a little game of hide and seek - where is the chick which has so far appeared on every spread? The reader is cleverly wrong footed because all other movements in the book happen just by the opening of the page, this one requires the intervention of some curious little fingers to lift up the hen’s wing. There nestled underneath we find the chick, whose eyelids close sleepily as the wing is raised. A fittingly brilliant end to a perfect example of a novelty book.

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