Tag: cosy

  • Stories Which Appeal To The Desire For Self-Sufficiency

    Stories Which Appeal To The Desire For Self-Sufficiency

    World events have an effect on the stories which follow. Take the 9/11 terrorist attack for instance. Commentators have drawn a direct line between that and Mad Men, or rather, the desire for Americans to retreat to a safe 1950s version of America which exists only in modern imaginations. The wish to return to an earlier era even influenced fashion.

  • Whimsy: What does it mean for a book to be whimsical?

    Whimsy: What does it mean for a book to be whimsical?

    What are the common features of popular works commonly described as ‘whimsical’? A long while ago I swapped a middle grade critique with someone who had used ‘whimsical’ in the title of their work, yet the story itself did not feel whimsical. I started to wonder about the unspoken rules of ‘whimsical’. But could I […]

  • The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame Analysis

    The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame Analysis

    A man in the shape of a Mole’s body feels a yearning which can only be fulfilled by entering the most transgressive parts of his own psychology, externally represented by the Wild Wood. On his journey, he meets other men, each driven by their own secret (and not so secret) passions.

  • Owl At Home by Arnold Lobel Analysis

    Owl At Home by Arnold Lobel Analysis

    Owl At Home is a 1975 picture book written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel. The book comprises five very short early reader stories about a kind, anxious and lonely owl. These owl stories, along with the frog and toad stories come from the second phase of Lobel’s creative career, in which he tapped into his…

  • Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg Analysis

    Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg Analysis

    Burglar Bill is a picture book by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, first published in 1977. There are a number of picture books about burglars who break into houses at night, one of a child’s greatest fears going to sleep. Burglars can be found all across children’s literature. (Enid Blyton loved burglars.)

  • Tree Houses, Forts and Huts in Children’s Illustration

    Tree Houses, Forts and Huts in Children’s Illustration

    One major task for the children’s storyteller: Getting parents out of the story. Children need to be the drivers of their own narratives. Storytellers have come up with many ways of getting adult helpers and caregivers out of the way. Here’s another: Give the child a home of their own. Within the world of the…

  • Blueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey (1948)

    Blueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey (1948)

    Blueberries For Sal (1948) is a picture book written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey, also well-known for Make Way For Ducklings. Both stories are thrillers for the preschool set, especially this one. In fact, I’m about to try and convince you that Blueberries For Sal is the inspiration behind Cormac McCarthy’s No Country For Old…

  • How To Make Friends With A Ghost by Rebecca Green Picture Book Analysis

    How To Make Friends With A Ghost is a 2017 picture book written and illustrated by Rebecca Green. This cosy supernatural story is written as a non-fictional how-to guide and because this book deals with supernatural subject matter, covertly teaches how to be a good friend.

  • Creepy Carrots by Reynolds and Brown Analysis

    Creepy Carrots by Reynolds and Brown Analysis

    Creepy Carrots (2012) is a picture book written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. For anyone wondering how to create a scary book for the very young reader without keeping them awake all night, this book is our masterclass in the horror-comedy blend. First of all, the story is about carrots — a…

  • Little House On The Prairie Analysis

    Little House On The Prairie Analysis

    Should parents expose our modern kids to Little House On The Prairie, given the uncomfortable realities?

  • Haystacks In Art and Storytelling

    Haystacks In Art and Storytelling

    Haystacks and haybales are multivalent symbols in storytelling, utilised in horror as well as in cosy pastoral stories.

  • Cry Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved and Charlotte Pardi Analysis

    Cry Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved and Charlotte Pardi Analysis

    Cry Heart, But Never Break is a picture book to help children process their grief. The book was first published in Denmark in 2001, then translated into English by Robert Moulthrop five years later. The story is beautifully illustrated by Danish artist Charlotte Pardi. I recommend this book for children of all ages dealing with…