The Glump and the Peeble by Wendy Meddour and Rebecca Ashdown
|The Glump and the Peeble by Wendy Meddour and Rebecca Ashdown|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: Learn to be yourself with the help of a Glump Who wants to dance and a Peeble who wants to sit in this wonderfully illustrated, but strangely formatted, children's book.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: January 2017|
|Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
When does someone learn who they truly are? As a baby, you don't know what your feet are, so any sense of true self-discovery is going to at least wait until you are out of nappies. As a child you start to see the world, but most of us only see our part in it. Enter your teenage years and twenties and you start to understand what role you play in life, but do you really know yourself? If you are lucky, very lucky, you may start to figure stuff out in your thirties and know who you are and what you want to do. Things may have happened a little quicker if you had read more books as a child all about being whomever you want to be.
Anyone who knows anything understands that Glumps like to sit in caves and think, whilst Peebles like to dance in the moonlight. To do anything other would be to go against the very grain of their being. However, one Glump feels like he wants to dance, whilst one Peeble is tired and just wants to have a rest and think. Can these two creatures work together to prove that anyone can do anything their heart desires?
There is a strong moral message at the heart of The Glump and the Peeble that is worth a child learning, but there are also some pretty basic flaws. Any parent of a small child would have picked up the gender trends in many books – boys like tractors, whilst girls like princesses. As adults we understand that many boys do like tractors and many girls like princesses, but we also know that some may like both, or neither. Glump tries to tell children in a kid friendly way that they can feel what they like.
The story itself is a simple one; a character who is not 'allowed' to dance, wants to dance and a dancing creatures who is not 'allowed' to sit, wants to sit. As children's books are rife with simple premises, this in of itself is not a problem, but the book does feel a little overwritten for what it is. At 32 pages, there is a lot of filler as the two characters talk to each other and you pretty much know the outcome by page 10.
There is also a fundamental flaw with the text used in the book – it is too small. The star of the book is not Meddour's words, but Ashdown's illustrations, but in making these shine the publishers have neglected the basic need of a child to be able to easily follow the text. Ashdown has a wonderfully colourful style that is reminiscent of The Moomins crossed with Willow 'o' Wisp. She takes you to a magical forest world of dancing in the dark. To promote her great work, the text takes a back step in size. The wordy nature of the story is only compounded by the small text, it is a test for any adult thinking they may need reading glasses.
Glump feels like a book that knows its strength is in the artwork and by playing to that the text has been neglected. Meddour would have been better to simplify even further what she has to say, or asking the publishers to please give her work a little more standing. As it is, this book has a strong message and some beautiful illustrations, but you cannot help feeling that it is a slight chore to get through.
There are many examples of children's books that are stunning to look at, but lack some basic child friendly elements The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat, but thankfully there are also examples of books that can do both; Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr Seuss.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Glump and the Peeble by Wendy Meddour and Rebecca Ashdown at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Glump and the Peeble by Wendy Meddour and Rebecca Ashdown at Amazon.com.
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