A Book Is A Book
Jenny Bornholdt/Sarah Wilkins Gecko Press
What a sweet wee book this is. For it is a book. It even tells us so. And it tells us all of the things a book can be – and all of the things that a book is – my favourite: some books are small because some writers are very tired.
Written for the whole family, told through a child’s eyes perhaps, this book exists to do very wonderful things: promote reading, libraries, the sharing of stories – the sharing of a love of reading and books. It’s a beautifully told tale; Bornholdt’s poet’s eye picks out only the right things to say. And Sarah Wilkins’ illustrations help this short tale to really come alive.
A wonderful present, a wonderful gift to give to yourself (let alone anyone else) – A Book Is A Book does its best to convey the magic of getting lost inside a good book; of why we would want to do that; of the benefits. A Book Is A Book conveys all of this magic. And conveys it all through magic.
It’s a slim volume packed full of big concepts – you can read this beginning to end or flip through and find a page to daydream on. You can read this for the writing or take it in for the pictures. Of course you can do both, but the point is this is a book to return to – one that begs you to open and re-open, to bring your stories to it as well as taking away the stories and suggestions from the worlds that open up in this lovely story.
Bornholdt is one of New Zealand’s great contemporary poets and though there’s always been a huge element of memoir in her poetry, here she is able to combine that, subtly, with a universal story that sits, wide-eyed, on the page that draws in any reader, old or young.
I can imagine parents and grandparents reading this to children, but you can just as easily see children reading this back to parents and grandparents; the shared smile as reader and audience take their own story-starters away from this book, this set of ideals, applying them to so many creative endeavours beyond just reading.
A Book Is A Book would make a great teaching aid, perfect addition to any classroom, homework tasks could be set from it – engaging children with concepts around the artwork, around creating their own drawings to frame up lines from the book. Or if could be used informally as a teaching aid in the home. Set your child a project from this book – set yourself a project from this book, compare notes.
Buy a copy for your house and for anyone you love. This is a wonderful little book.