Play The Shape Game by Anthony Browne
|Play The Shape Game by Anthony Browne|
|Genre: Children's Non-Fiction|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: 45 celebrities turn squiggles into intriguing illustrations. It's an intriguing exercise, with some impressive pieces of art, and best of all, proceeds go towards The Rainbow Trust Children's Charity.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 96||Date: July 2010|
|External links: Author's website|
You might have already played the shape game. It involves doing a squiggle on a piece of paper, then either you or someone else has to turn that squiggle into a full picture. Anthony Browne played it lots when he was little, and now he's playing it with 45 celebrities and you. Proceeds from the book and the auction of the artwork are going to The Rainbow Trust Children's Charity, who provide emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness. A fantastic cause.
We've been looking forward to Play The Shape Game ever since Anthony Browne mentioned it in our interview with him. We're delighted to discover it's as much fun as we'd hoped. It's intriguing to see all the different ideas that people have had in turning the original shape into something new and exciting. Hats and beaks feature heavily, but there are many surprising transformations. Jan Pienkowski's take on Aladdin is particularly creative, and Greg Wise's Picass-O-Rhino had me laughing my head off. A full list of the contributors is at the end of this review.
In many ways, it's a coffee table book for kids and adults alike - a bit of interest to flick through, that can be absorbed in small doses, or pored through cover to cover. There are also plenty of other squiggles, loosely based on the shape of the new pictures, for you and yours to join in with the shape game. I've got a deep-seated feeling that you don't draw in books, so I've not joined in yet, but I guess if I can write in A To Z, I can draw in Play The Shape Game, so I'd better get over it and get on with it.
It'll make a nice present, particularly for kids that love drawing, but it also works well as a catch-all gift if you're not entirely sure what someone else's kids are into. It's a nice addition to any bookshelf, particularly if you get lots of people to join in with adding their own illustrations to the mix. Warmly recommended.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
For other charity books, check out The Walrus and the Carpenter and Other Favourite Poems by Children's Trust, Ox-Tales: Fire by Oxfam and People of the Day 3: The Rich and Famous Caricatured by Peter Wynter Bee and Lucy Clapham. Abc 3d by Marion Bataille is a gorgeous coffee table book that bridges the generations.
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