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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

The Gobbledegook Book: A Joy Cowley Anthology by Joy Cowley

For the first time, Joy Cowley's favourite stories, poems and nonsense rhyme for young children have been collected into a single volume.

The Gobbledegook Book features some of her best poems and stories to read aloud, including much-loved classics like Greedy Cat, The Giant Pumpkin, and Nicketty-Nacketty Noo Noo Noo. Even if you haven't heard the stories from primary school times, memories of Cowley's writing will come flooding back upon the first reading. This is a book that will delight both younger readers and the older generations.

Illustrator Giselle Clarkson takes on a huge role, enlivening Cowley's stories for a new generation. She is a relative newcomer to children's book illustrations, with her first book The Secret World of Butterflies released just last year. But boy does she live up to the expectations.

As Cowley said, "Gobbledegook is a perfect name for the anthology. It was Giselle's art that brought the title to mind. Her illustrations are mad and scrumptious."

It's a brave thing to take a well-loved illustration and remaster it. All of us who grew up with Greedy Cat will have strong memories of that rotund ginger cat. But Clarkson takes it in her stride.

Strutting ducks, exploding pumpkins, and a hungry ogre chewing glue stew all come to life with Clarkson's imagining.

It's a lovingly designed book too. Text roars off the page in bright and bold colours, or meanders around illustrations. It's a book full of emotion and fun. You can't help but be drawn into the exuberance of both Cowley's writing and Clarkson's illustrations.

The book itself is a solid hardback, with beautiful end pages, and a ribbon to help readers keep their place. It is a book that will last generations and become a tome that is poured over day after day.

The Gobbledegook Book is the kind of book that will be passed down generations of a family - timeless, joyous and heavy with memories.

Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser

Gecko Press, RRP $39.99


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