Beneficial Shock – issue 5 review

The theme for this issue is SECRETS & LIES. The Features articles drill down into the conceits that are inherent in the very structure of film, and how classic and modern narratives are shaped by geo-political, cultural and societal upheavals.

I Am Not A Label – review

The biographies are diverse, from musicians and actors to athletes and scientists; each one a shining example of human excellence and ambition. Author Burnell’s awareness and thoughtfulness is always at the fore.

The Fundamentals of Illustration – review

By reading this, aspiring illustrators will feel far more confident in their subject knowledge and will have an idea of what they need to do in order to develop themselves into a creative professional, who has the required practical skills and aptitude for a successful career.

Vic Lee’s Corona Diary

Lee’s Corona Diary is a reflection and reminder of what we’ve been through, via the lens of a visual artist who was compelled to take up his brush and document the worst global crisis of recent times.

Don’t Buy This Book – review

Although aimed at a broad range of creative entrepreneurs, illustrators will recognise much of what is proposed and the ‘can-do’ attitude of the writing may well give the impetus to take the suggested actions. It examines what the ‘Why’ of your project/aims is; setting goals; the customer journey, competitors and what your USP is.

This Book is Anti-Racist – review

Reviewer Karl Foster believes that This Book Is Anti-Racist will help children to help their elders to understand the inequities of racial prejudice and the work necessary to help them to ‘change their minds.’

Calm Down Zebra

Calm Down Zebra is written by Lou Kuenzler and illustrated by Julia Woolf, and follows on from Not Yet Zebra, another fun rhyming book for early learners. To continue, the same enthusiastic zebra is back, says reviewer Louise Date, and helping Annie teach her little brother all about colours and how to use them, sometimes with a little too much zeal!

The Bird Within Me – review

Writer and Artist Sara Lundberg’s story takes place on a farm in the spare landscape of rural Sweden in the 1920’s and is inspired by the paintings, letters and diaries of the artist Berta Hansson. It begins when Berta is young and standing at a crossroads in her life. Our hero has to decide whether to stay or go.

Portrait of an Artist: Georgia O’Keeffe – review

Georgia O’Keeffe is often labelled the ‘Mother of American Modernism’, and this portrait of one of the best known female artists of all time seeks to open children’s eyes to her achievements as a trailblazer.

Scruff – review

This charming tale from Alice Bowsher has her curly haired/bearded hero feeling the need for a canine companion. He’s not that fussed what it will look like, as he’s a scruffy kind of guy himself.

Protest! A History of Social and Political Protest Graphics – review

This comprehensive book feels very contemporary, documenting as it does the imagery of protest from the social comment of the Reformation in the 1500’s to the civil rights movements. Also covering Women’s Liberation, AIDS, LGBTQ campaigns, Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement, Pussy Riot and more from recent decades.

Lights on Cotton Rock – review

David Litchfield’s Lights on Cotton Rock is a fantastic book, aimed at children between 4 and 7, but visually compelling and beautifully created – something lovely for anyone to read and admire.

Ways of Drawing – review

In Ways of Drawing we are able to glimpse the personal, reflective and in some cases passionate evocation of the compulsion to make sense of the world through mark-making.

Queer Heroes – review

Sarah Tanat-Jones’ vibrant portraits in Queer Heroes use colour and pattern to add dynamism to the characters and page layout, making the publication a lively introduction to the many achievements of LGBTQ people.

History of Illustration – review

History of Illustration is an achievement which the illustration community – and industry – can only benefit from; not only as a thorough reference resource, but as a laying down of the importance of our art-form, and what it has achieved over centuries (and more) in one publication.

Hoot and Howl Across the Desert – review

Informative text and bright, sometimes playful illustrations, make for a great book on deserts and the life they contain and support, that will delight many children.


The Garden of Inside-Outside – review

Written by Chiara Mezzalama Illustrated by Régis Lejonc Published by Book Island ISBN 978-1-911496-16-8 Reviewed by Karl Andy Foster This is a story that sets out its context carefully as..

The Golden Cage – review

The story of an obsessive Emperor’s daughter who demands extraordinary birds. She wants a talking bird to fill the golden cage.


This book could be a key resource for you if you’re a lover of the outdoors and have thought about brushing up on your practical skills for when we’re able to once again freely roam the world. Click to read the full review!

Everybody Counts – review

This book from Norwegian illustrator and author Roskifte is built around contemplation, the times where we take a step back from the world and become a spectator, observing the appearance and actions of others and use this to build a mental narrative of that person’s life.

Greta and the Giants – review

Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old, Swedish school child who has become famous through her stand to save the world, has been cast in a fictional tale to help children grasp the concept of activism.

John Piper’s Brighton Aquatints – review

You wouldn’t have to be a resident of this most well-know of British seaside towns to feel attached to this elegant resurrection of John Piper’s pre-war aquatint artworks of Brighton.

Earth Shattering Events! – review

Earth Shattering Events! is fun, educational and equally entertaining to people big and small. As our world changes around us, understanding the events out of our control happening around us is increasingly important, and yet still overlooked.

Slanted 34 Europe – review

Slanted #34 stands then as a plea for a multi-faceted and vibrant Europe, with an impressively broad assembly of texts, photography, illustration, graphic design expressed through the full range of graphic mediums.

Gut Garden – review

Katie Brosnan introduces us to the microbes; the varieties that makes up the family, the microbes that live in human bodies in a state of mutually-beneficial symbiosis, and those microbe renegades that can make us ill or give us acne.

Ravilious Wood Engravings – review

Author, James Russell provides us with a fascinating overview of Ravilious’ life; his education, teaching career, work as a war artist and his experience as a commercial artist.

The Inner Child – review

The Inner Child is a short but sweet book all about that little person inside all of us that feels, hurts and plays as hard as ever: our inner child.