A Book is a Book by Jenny Bornholdt, ill. Sarah Wilkins, Gecko Press
Small and perfectly formed, this book offers a prose poem by one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed poets. It was conceived and developed to commemorate the 20th birthday of the Whitireia publishing programme. It’s been published in the guise of a children’s book, but it’s more likely to be appreciated by older children and adults. In a fresh and whimsical fashion it looks at answers to the question, “What is a book?” Every avid reader will find delicacies to savour - I especially liked the following: Reading a book of pictures is still reading, and You can read a book while you walk, but you have to be careful not to bump into things (e-book readers take note!). Sarah Wilkins (winner of the Russell Clark Award in 2003 for The Immigrants) enhances the text with finely drawn, imaginative and almost surreal illustrations that reward close scrutiny. Congratulations to Gecko Press for the care that has gone into the production - it has a detachable cover, a different picture on the cover of the book itself, and a bookmark; and the pages have a sturdy old-fashioned matt quality which appeals to both eye and fingertip. This would make a great Christmas present for friends, young and old, who love books (real books!).
ISBN 878 1 877579 92 9 $24.99 Hb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman