October 17 2020

Dog, by Shaun Tan

Dog

Dog by Shaun Tan

Title: Dog
Author: Shaun Tan
Genre/ issues: Picture book. Animal friendship.

Shop local where you can: For Australian readers, you can find this book on Booktopia. or support your local independent bookstore. US readers, check out Bookshop.org.

I love Shaun Tan’s work, and one of the sheer thrills of my job is that I had the privilege of interviewing him a couple of years ago at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. His art is detailed and gorgeous, and the stories he tells are thoughtful and compelling.

Dog was originally part of Tan’s Tales from the Inner City, and has been reimagined in this stand-alone book, which represents the enduring relationships between human and canine across time and stages of life. It’s as stunning as you would expect from such an incredible artist, and I keep going back to examine each page, stroking it with my fingers to try and absorb the depth and texture he manages to bring to something that is so fundamentally 2 dimensional. If you have a picture book lover, and art lover or a dog lover in your life, this would make a perfect gift.

#TamaraReads #2020readingchallenge 67/100

Happy reading,

Tamara

 

 

October 17 2020

Diamonds by Armin Greder

Diamonds

Diamonds, by Armin Greder

Title: Diamonds
Author: Armin Greder
Genre/ issues: Picture book. Consumerism. Diamond trade. Inequality. Corruption.

Shop local where you can: For Australian readers, you can find this book on Booktopia. or support your local independent bookstore. US readers, check out Bookshop.org.

I read 6 picture books last night, so be prepared to be bombarded with reviews. Diamonds by Armin Greder is as complex and thought-provoking as you’d expect a Greder book to be. A child asks their mother where her diamonds come from, and after a detailed explanation of the buying and gifting process, the mother eventually mentions that they’re mined in Africa. “Where Amina comes from”? the child questions – and what follows is a nightmarish depiction of the process of diamond consumption from the ground to the consumer, with the corruption and exploitation of the industry illustrated in signature Greder style.

The majority of the story is wordless – a few pages of text at the beginning and end provide a frame for this powerful parable of the deeper impacts of greed and consumption. It’s hard to describe this book as enjoyable, but it’s certainly powerful and important. Greder’s work is always one of the ones I mention when people say that picture books are for kids!

#TamaraReads #2020readingchallenge 66/100

Happy reading,

Tamara