By Nina Chakrabarti
Published by Laurence King ISBN: 978-78627-060-3
Reviewed by Karl Andy Foster
This tasteful addition to the current trend in fun activity books is aimed at 6 years and upwards. It is nicely packaged with hand rendered typographic information on the cover and a die-cut lozenge at the bottom to reveal the owner’s name.
The author has a good track record in producing books for the publisher Laurence King, and this book showcases her strong personal illustrated graphic language. The colour scheme is sophisticated and this will encourage adults to engage with the book also. It is published in hard back but perhaps a softback cover would be more appropriate to make it more affordable. I think it is marketed at parents who buy OKIDO or Anorak magazine and are more likely to make an expensive purchase.
It is good to see that the owner of the book can personalize it by adding their name to the front. It contains clear instructions on how to improve the pages and add your personal touch. With reference to both the usual and the unusual the well-researched content makes you think about the many aspects involved in the art of collecting. The words used in some cases are very advanced (with a definition given) but will help educate the user to expand their knowledge of focused accumulations.
The book contains eight pages of illustrated stickers that can be added to the printed pages and thus help one to personalise the book. Children are encouraged to make choices about the appearance of the pages through drawing and sticking. This interaction is preferable to more passive forms of engagement that is found in personalised books for children. Developing ones own collection is a creative act and ultimately much more satisfying option.
Chakrabarti includes an envelope within the book for budding collectors to begin ‘My collection of memories.’ Fun is what this publication is all about, and there is enough variation within to occupy even the most distracted of children. The organic and authentic nature of the drawings is a trademark of the artist’s acrylic painting technique, and this award-winning artist has crafted a joyous book that will become a collectors item itself.