Thursday, 8 December 2011

Picks of 2011 - Elissa

Stuck is the story of a little boy whose kite gets stuck in a tree, and his ingenious and downright mad attempts to retrieve it. This is, like most of Jeffers' work, not a story for the literal minded. If you've read any Oliver Jeffers before you know what you're in for with his latest picture book. And if you haven't, what are you waiting for?

Back last century when I was a little girl my father had a collection of Rackham's illustrations on old wooden runged posters. I used to sleep with 'Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens' above my head. I've always been a sucker for beautiful illustrations and now I've got these sumptuous Rackham illustrations snuggled quite comfortably next to E.H. Sheperd's.

This beautiful book covers Rackham's work from beginning to end, including sketches and some of his correspondence. But it isn't just about Rackham's work, written by art historian James Hamilton it also examines Rackham's personal life.

The Great Penguin Bookchase

At last! Trivial pursuit without all those boring sport questions! Unfortunately it still has a 'science' genre but you can't have everything. I bought this as a Christmas present for myself, not to be taken out of its shrink wrap until Christmas Day so the whole family can argue about the virtues of Goethe's 'Faust' over Marlowe's 'Faustus'. It has little books to put on little bookshelves and over 1200 questions. I can't decide if I'm more excited about this game or my sister's honey mustard ham.

I originally picked these up because of their lovely covers. Then I noticed one called A Dissertation upon Roast Pig by Charles Lamb and I was sold. I've collected a few of the titles now and my favourite is Recipes from the White Hart Inn by William Verral. A highly amusing and highly delicious description of being the landlord of an inn in Sussex in the eighteenth century and introducing French cookery to his customers.

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