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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Review: Arthur and the Meanies

Author/ Illustrator: Jan Fearnley
Release date: 5th July 2010 UK
Genre: Illustrated book
Target audience: 5+

Summary from Amazon:
How do you play with an elephant? Well, if you're Tiger, Cheetah, Monkey and Peacock, you don't. Tiger growls that Arthur is too heavy for hopping, and Cheetah is very unkind when Arthur asks to hold the string on his beautiful new kite. But when it starts to rain, suddenly everybody wants to be Arthur's friend - as long as he will do as he's told and shelter them from the storm. This is a beautifully crafted picture book that is complete with a gentle and satisfying moral.

Arthur and the Meanies is a beautifully illstrated picture book which is full of vibrant colours. It tells the story of Arthur the Elephant who wants to play but sadly the mean Tiger, Cheetah, Peacock and Monkies don't want to play with him. Arthur feels left out but luckily he finds Duck and Frog and they cannot wait to play with him.

The text and the illustrations work in great harmony together. The story is brought to life through the changing emotions that are communicated by the animals' expressions. In fact all the faces of the animals are delightfully individual and appealing. The illustrations are alive and very contemporary. Fearnley uses a mixture of textures, patterns, water colour and collage to great effect. Every page offers a new and exciting scene as Arthur searches for a friend.

I really love the moral in this story too. It teaches children that people will be mean and hurt their feelings. But a new friend can be found around every corner. Arthur chooses to stick up for himself and consequently ends out hurting the feelings of the mean animals. But through Arthur's journey children learn that forgiveness is important and so is learning from your mistakes.

Arthur and the Meanies would make a beautiful gift for any child age 5 and up.

Thanks to Egmont books for sending me a copy to review.

NB: This is my first review of a picture book. I still have lots to learn. I would love some advice on how I can improve in the comments.


Caroline said...

The book sounds adorable and I am a fan of the original illustrations with difference of textures. I'm sure kids would love this story!
And you did a perfect job on the picture book review with a comment on both the content and the illustrations.
Thanks for this review :)

Linda Strachan said...

great review, you covered all the important points!
Sounds like a lovely book

Library Mice said...

Awwww, I love this one too!
Your review is great. I review picture books all the time for my blog and for Armidillo too and as Caroline said, what's important is to talk about both text and artwork. I find it much easier to talk about picture books, even though I am not arty in the slightest, but maybe it is because this where my passion lies!
Looking forward to reading more! :0)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

This sounds so cute!

Josh said...

Hi, hope it's OK to contact you with this comment. We'd like to offer you to be included on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout (http://www.giveawayscout.com). Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog (http://www.giveawayscout.com/addblog/ ). thanks, Josh

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

This sounds like a really beautiful picture book. If obnly my little brothers were still young enough to appreciate them!

asamum said...

Great review. It covered some really good points, as a mother of a 5 year old I would really be tempted to get this one. Thanks

Emma Michaels said...

I saw that you are a part of the Debut Author Challenge! That is so amazing that you are supporting debut authors and I only recently found out that I am going to be one!!! I wanted to ask if you wouldn’t mind heading over to my blog and giving me your opinion. As a blogger turned author I would really appreciate it and the publisher is still giving out ARCs so you might have a chance at a free copy! Thank you and I hope you will stop by and check out The Thirteenth Chime!

Emma Michaels

P.S.- My release date if Friday the 13th (August this year) isn't that crazy?

brizmus said...

Ohhh, I love the moral of this story, too! :-) It sounds adorable! And if the cover is anything like the illustrations inside, you must be right that they are wonderful!

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Lovely review for what seems to be such a cute and delightful book!

Dwayne said...

Aww this is soo cute! I haven't enjoyed pictures books for quite some time now Hanna's gettin old. Lol I'm afraid I can't help you with improving your review:(

Becky said...

It's about time I thanked you all for commenting especially as I asked for your advice. I've been a little busy.

Caroline, thank you. I love books with patterns and textures too. It makes them have a three-dimensional feel I think.

Linda, thanks for your encouragement.

Library Mice, I hope I do not disappoint. I feel there is so much to learn in this field but I'm trying.

Juju, it is!

Josh, I would prefer to keep comments related to the post. Please email me if you wish to discuss something other than Arthur and the Meanies.

Sophie, it is such a beautiful book. Keep it in mind if you have any young cousins.

Asamum, ah ha! A person who this review could actually be of use to. This is great! Thanks!

Emma, good luck with your book.

Brizmus, the cover is gorgeous, isn't it?

Irena, Thanks! You leave such sweet comments.

Dwayne, shame... I really do need some pointers. I think Nayuleska is going to help me though so no worries.