Friday, 15 November 2013
OK so I may be a little biased here, but it’s OK to review a book that your mentioned in the acknowledgements & had a small hand in helping to publish right? Right? Oh well I’m going to do it anyway. The Crystal Mirror came to life after Sarah Bird from Vala co-op read a set of stories written by Tim Malnick and learned that Katie Green wanted to illustrate them. Vala is a small independent publisher and couldn’t afford to pay Katie an advance for the book, but without an advance Katie wouldn’t have been able to dedicate the amount of time needed to create the amazing illustrations. So they decided to crowdfund and I got involved as both a supporter and as a “godparent” in order to support the process, help publicise the book etc. They raised a bundle of cash and the book got made. I am happy to say that it is gorgeous and a real treat for both adults and children. This book is going to be a favourite of some children I feel, lovely pictures and stories with enough mystery and excitement to spark the imagination. Katie’s illustrations are wonderful and really help to bring the book alive. The stories though are deceptively simple yet thematically complex and leave you with a sense of wonder. My favourite is the triumph of imagination in The master painter Where a painter paints a king and the king doesn’t like what he sees and locks up the painter, but you can’t lock up imagination. But it is very hard to choose a stand out story as they all have something good to offer. Whether it is hope and redemption in The cuddliest monster, or Identity in Polly the girl who was always changing and the story of Oswald Bat there is a hope inherent in each of the 5 stories. It would make a perfect Xmas gift too!
There's a page from each story here: http://www.valapublishers.coop/thecrystalmirror and excertpts here: http://www.thecrystalmirror.co.uk/home and if you're anywhere near Bristol on the 30th November there is an unusual book launch details here: http://www.thecrystalmirror.co.uk/launch-party
Overall - This is a seriously beautiful book