For me, the perfect picture book combines an original idea with inventive storytelling and captivating illustration. Danny Blue's Really Excellent Dream ticks all of those boxes — in fact, it's so awesome that it's a book I wish I'd published myself!
Danny Blue lives in a rather blue world. He has blueberries for breakfast, eaten from a blue bowl with a blue spoon. Danny's full name is Daniel Periwinkle Blue, his favourite movie is The Blues Brothers, his favourite animal is the blue-tongued lizard. His father, Mr Blue, makes paint colours — they're all blue. You get the picture …
Then one night, Danny has a dream, about a blue whale, except that it's NOT BLUE! He tries to tell his dad about it but he actually has no words to describe it. But he can't forget about it, because it was such a Really Excellent Dream! So Danny sets about creating that extraordinary colour that was not blue.
Quirky humour leaps off every single page of this inspired book! My daughter and I both absolutely adore it. Max Landrak's word play is sensational (Danny riffs on his blues guitar, inspiration hits him like a bolt from the blue!) and his illustrations are packed with character. This is his first picture book — I hope there are many more to come.
Right now I feel as if I have as many books as this library! We've sold our house and will soon be moving — which means we have to sort through all our books and decide which ones to keep and which ones to sell or give away.
And we have THOUSANDS of books! They're piled in virtually every room of the house. There are bookshelves wherever you look. My husband even built our bed so that it incorporated bookshelves around the base!
But, we have decided that we are going to part with most of them. Increasingly, we're leaning towards a more minimalist lifestyle, with less 'stuff'. And while books are, of course, right at the top of my list of 'important stuff', they are still 'stuff'. It's simply not feasible for us to transport all of them to our new home.
So, I've developed two key questions as I sort through the shelves:
1. Do I love this book?
2. Will I read it again? (There are some I love that, for whatever reason, I know I won't read again.)
It it's not a 'yes' to both, then that book is moved to the 'set free to be enjoyed by others' room. It's a long and exhausting process, and I'll be very glad when I've finished.
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