Gordon's Great Escape by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet
|Gordon's Great Escape by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: Gordon is a balloon with a thin skin, but this doesn't stop him taking part in this wonderfully silly story that's joyous to read and wonderful to look at.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: October 2016|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK|
|External links: Author's website|
The life of the humble balloon is one full of fear and dangers. Imagine going out of the house each day and all that protects your vulnerable self is a thin sheet of taut rubber. Even if you do get to survive into your dotage, this's not a long time. Who has not left a balloon alone for a week or so, it starts to sag and go wrinkly until it is nothing more than a floppy bag. Depressing as this may be, Gordon the balloon looks on the bright side of life and is determined to enjoy every moment he has.
When Gordon arrives in the world he soon passes Balloon School and is sent into the big bad world. Around every corner is a potential sharp edge that may pop him, but this won’t stop Gordon. His adventures take him far and wide from days in the circus to working with a magician. Can Gordon survive long enough to become a balloon based hero?
The concept of ‘‘Gordon's Great Escape’’ is a silly one that could only work as a children’s book (or some sort of Kafka play). Thankfully, this is exactly what the book is and it's a joy to behold. There's a sense of joy and daftness in ‘‘Gordon’’ that's part of the very fabric of the book and needs to be part of the reader if they are to get the most of it. Think too long and hard about the improbabilities of a sentient balloon and you will lose the sense of fun that makes this book so appealing.
Most children have this sense of fun and they will benefit greatly from the jolly narrative and colourful images found here. The story is a simple enough one; Gordon finds himself somewhere to settle, only to have to move on when events get spiky. There is a nice ending that comes a pleasant shock to the reader. Hendra has filled the book with a sense of impish glee that comes out in the story.
This also comes out in Linnet’s images that are bold and brilliant. Gordon is a simple balloon so is hard to give character and life to, but Linnet succeeds by manipulating Gordon’s face. There is a use of colour in this book that's very appealing, especially to younger toddlers, 2 to 4. Lots of brightness is in keeping with the fun story. Linnet is not afraid to have a little fun with the reader: some of the double spread pages have a surprise or two and you need to turn the book to get the most out of them.
It is always nice to read a children’s book that feels that it has been written for a child and not the adult reading with them. The glorious naivety of a balloon that can have an adventure is the type of idea that tickles a child’s fancy. If you are like me, it also tickles the child inside the adult. This fun filled book is a pleasure to share.
Sue Hendra has some great form when creative daft and fun stories: Supertato.
You can read more book reviews or buy Gordon's Great Escape by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Gordon's Great Escape by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet at Amazon.com.
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