First published in The Star on 11th November, 2016
Sherman Alexie, the author of the hilarious and heart-wrenching award-winning young adult fiction novel The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian, has published his first picture book.
Illustrated by Yuyi Morales, Thunder Boy Jr tells the story of a young boy struggling to come to terms with his name. Thunder Boy has been named after his dad who is known as “Big Thunder”. Unfortunately, this makes the little boy “Little Thunder”, a nickname that he thinks sounds like a “burp or a fart”.Read More »
I’m trying to imagine Malaysian booksellers and publishers I know in a version of this picture! I doubt we’ll ever be so comfortable with our bodies (and sufficiently free of guilt, shame and terror) to pose naked for any kind of cause. In this picture, French booksellers and publishers are responding to remarks made by a minister about a new picture book that’s filled with illustrations of people without their clothes on. Their message: “Tous à poil contre la censure!” or “Everyone naked against censorship.”Read More »
First published on 1st December, 2013 in The Star
A HOLE is whole with something missing, and not just the letter “w”. When my best friend leaves after a long, food-filled visit, she leaves a Jenny-shaped hole in my life. When I left my desk-bound job I felt, acutely, a desk-shaped hole in my life, the desk-shape representing a regular routine, a steady job, financial security.
We see holes as empty spaces needing to be filled. Our initial reaction to them tends to be negative. Better to be whole than to have a hole, right? Who wants to be empty, to be missing something or someone, a purpose or a plan?
There is a hole in Øyvind Torseter’s book. Literally. It’s die-cut right through, from the front cover to the back. You can peep through it and, no matter how sophisticated you think you are, you will find it hard to resist playing peek-a-boo. Read More »