Unfortunately by Alan Durant and Simon Rickerty
|Unfortunately by Alan Durant and Simon Rickerty|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: Buy it. Buy it now. It's a brilliant good news/bad news book, with plenty of wide-eyed silliness and wonderful illustrations. Highly recommended. Alan Durant was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: July 2010|
|External links: Author's website|
One day a boy is walking through the jungle. Unfortunately, a lion tries to get him. Fortunately, he escapes. Unfortunately, a huge snake is poised to snaffle him up. Fortunately... and on and on it goes, with good news followed by bad followed by good. Ok, so that might make it sound a little simple and boring, but trust me: it's fantastic.
I loved every moment of Unfortunately, from the happy-go-lucky whistling at the beginning, to the brilliantly sudden ending that reminded me of Jumpy Jack and Googily by Meg Rosoff and Sophie Blackall and Super Dooper Jezebel by Tony Ross. It flows wonderfully: never jumping too quickly or too slowly from one unfortunate/fortunate episode to the next. It's an action-packed adventure, with plenty of wide-eyed silliness throughout. The writing style is direct and deceptively simple, but with plenty of nice touches like the boy shouting Help again!
We really loved what Simon Rickerty did with the illustrations in Peas! - despite it being a book about little green circles. Unfortunately gives him an opportunity to really let his hair down, and it's amazing. I love the hungry snake coiled around, I love the vine-swinging page, I love the hunter chasing the boy over the edge of a pit, I love the man-eating bear opening his eye and the little skeleton beside him, and I love the gaggle of monkeys that join in the adventure. Every page is an adventure in itself, with text and pictures woven together wonderfully to make it thrilling for reader and readee alike.
Unfortunately is a book to read time and time again. It's one that they'll want again as soon as you get to the end, and almost more importantly it's one that you'll be happy to read again as soon as you get to the end. It's a book you can go wild with, really dramatising the flip-flopping between peril and placidity. Have fun with it, play along with it. I can well picture kids wanting to write and illustrate their own versions of Unfortunately. It's one of those wonderful picture books that strikes a chord with a wide range of ages, including adults. It's brilliant. Buy it or I'll send the dinosaur round to gulp you up in one bite.
Huge thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
The aforementioned Googily, Jezebel and Peas! are great places to start for further reading. Dear Miss by Amy Husband and Tortoise vs. Hare - The Rematch! by Preston Rutt and Ben Redlich are equally super high-energy books.
Alan Durant was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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