Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt (Pictures by Oliver Jeffers)

By Drew Daywalt
Pictures by Oliver Jeffers

I absolutely love this book.
The Day the Crayons Quit is a picture book filled with wonderful and colourful crayon drawings and letters hand-written with crayons (there are a few photographs and printed words too). So, Duncan has a box of crayons and they've decided to each writer letters to him, spilling their woes, etc, etc. Some of the letters were a heartwarming reminder of how I used to treat different colours when I was little, and the whole idea of the book, the writing and the execution was clever, hilarious and ever so endearing.

I adore how the crayons have hand-written their letters (but I mean, they certainly couldn't have typed them out on a computer... that just seems unlikely!) and I can't go on enough about how much I love the pictures illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. They're child-like, but universal somehow as well, as if any person young, old, amateur, professional - would look at these drawings and smile. And they bring me back to a sweet place of nostalgia, and makes me want to create, create, create.

This brilliant little book has warranted its #1 NYT Best Selling status because any reader of any age will enjoy this cute story. I heard recently there will be a sequel coming out soon, and I'm so excited!

My Rating: 5 stars! Duh :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Liane Moriarty at #PWF15

Last month I went to the Perth Writers Festival to meet one of my favourite authors f all time – Liane Moriarty. I went to all three sessions she was at and I got to meet her and have all my books of hers signed. What’s even better was that I won her secret Facebook competition, the prize being a signed book of hers, and luckily I had every single book of hers already, except for one! The Husband’s Secret – so she signed it and gave it to me. Yay!

I’ve already read The Husband’s Secret but I’m glad I own it now, the cover is gorgeous, and the book itself isn’t too shabby either, haha! (You can read my review of The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty here)

The first session of Liane’s was her main one I suppose, featuring her newest book Big Little Lies (a review of that one coming soon!). I was pretty darn excited for it, to say the least. I sat in the second row from the front. In this session I questioned my pronunciation skills and learnt that Liane is pronounced Lee-AHn, and not how I thought it was pronounced. After this session I went straight to the signing, practically walking beside Liane and failing to muster the courage to say hello and speak that secret phrase for the Facebook competition. But even though I was like 10th in line at the signing, I managed to win! I was thrilled and confounded as to how I was the first person to whisper that secret phrase (“I wasn’t born in an earthquake either”) and win. Liane signed all 100000 of the books I brought plus the one I won and she was delightful. I should have asked for a photo with her.
But I found a photo of me in the line for the signing! Pan Macmillan Australia posted it on twitter.

I'm the asian-looking girl third in line :P
The second session was a panel with a few other authors, talking about ordinary lives, and the extraordinariness of them. I do kinda wish Liane spoke more because there was one quite boisterous and loud author on the panel (although she was funny at times, I found her a tad obnoxious) and Liane has quite a gentle and unassuming personality. Basically I was only interested in what one author had to say.

The last session was all about turning the book into a film, and Liane was joined with the author of The Rosie Effect, Graeme Simsion. Liane told us about meeting with Nicole Kidman for coffee, how Reese Witherspoon’s production company is making the film, and how Nicole Kidman wants to play the role of Celeste and Reese Witherspoon wants to play the role of Madeline. Some of what she said was repeated from earlier sessions but I didn’t really mind. Graeme also had really interesting things to say because he’s a screen-writer as well as a novelist, so he knows about the process. I haven’t read his books yet but I still found everything he had to say rather insightful. The authors were asked about their dream casts, and Liane promptly said, Matt Damon, in any role. I would heartily agree. 
Big Little Lies is going to be set in the US, which makes sense, but is still a little sad to think of – to think of all the lovely Australian things infused into the novel, and knowing the world will be seeing quite a different version of Pirriwee Public on the big screen. But anyway, it’s probably for the best – I always feel a little strange watching big blockbusters set in Australia. It’s weird to me, watching movies with characters that have Aussie accents, it’s just too real, or something. I don’t know.

Finally this post is up! It took me ages to write. Anyway, I need to go review Big Little Lies now, and another book, and those posts shall be up next. If you haven’t picked up Big Little Lies, I suggest you find it in a bookstore or Big W or online, buy it, and read it! It’s really really good. And funny, and those characters will take your heart for a little spin.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New on my bookshelf

The Buried Giant
by Kazuo Ishiguro

I am so excited to get my hands on this beauty of a novel. I literally just came home right then from Big W. Kazuo Ishiguro is one of my favourite authors and Never Let Me Go is one of my favourite books of all time. I am in awe of his writing. And I am so excited every time I read a great review of The Buried Giant, especially as it has touches of fantasy in there (although it is technically not fantasy!). I'm just so pumped to read and enjoy it. 
Oh and isn't the cover just gorgeous? I absolutely love it.

Have you read it yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

I’ve recently been dipping my toes in a lot more children’s fiction, mainly because I want to write it. I think I saw Stuck on the front page of The Book Depository one day and that was the beginning of my great admiration for Oliver Jeffers.

Stuck is about a boy named Floyd who gets his kite stuck in a tree and his efforts to get it unstuck. Basically, Floyd has one philosophy and one philosophy only – the only way he can get his kite unstuck from the tree is to throw things at the kite to knock it down. The concept is wonderful, not because everything he throws up there gets stuck with the kite, but because (spoiler alert) Floyd’s logic works.

What I appreciate the most is the illustrations. Oliver Jeffers’ style is indescribably enjoyable in my book. I absolutely love his art in every way – from the tree, to buildings, animals, and the facial expressions of people (e.g. Floyd’s sticky out tongue face and eyebrows) – it’s brilliant and simple and perfect. Another charming aspect is all of the words of the story are hand-written by Jeffers. It has this air of childish sophistication that looks like it’s been written by an 11 year old boy who’s been learning cursive for maybe a month or two (but forgets after every couple of letters what cursive is).

It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s beautiful and it’s perfect for adults and children alike. Definitely deserving of 5 stars.