I’m not sure I’ve ever read a picture book that has brought me so much joy, than the extraordinary, ‘When I Grow Up.’ Steve Antony has illustrated Tim Minchin’s iconic song ‘When I Grow Up’ from Matilda the musical and together they have created the most wonderful visual, musical extravaganza. Having read it, I immediately brought it to school to share with the children at Storytime and their reactions were priceless. I defy anyone to READ this story, it’s just not possible. I started off with a gentle tune and ending up with a full blown belted out performance and it was totally irresistible to any adult who walked by, they too couldn’t resist breaking out into song. But as for the children how did they feel about a book that couldn’t be read and had to be sung from the rooftops. Well I tell you they absolutely loved it! There were giggles, spontaneous joining in, lots of wonderful interaction and for me as a school librarian well I really couldn’t ask for more. To see their delight as the spreads unfolded was completely infectious, it was a real treat to share with them.
Steve Antony has clearly poured his heart and soul into illustrating this book, you can feel the labour of love in every single spread. Bursting with life and energy he has cleverly given us a real insight into adult life just as children envision it, all play and no work. Muted spreads allow the reader to feel like we are lost in the children’s imaginations, as they dream up worlds filled with candy floss trees, biscuit skyscrapers and doughnut filled skylines. Intricately detailed and wonderfully inclusive, each page demands to be poured over time and time again to see what new riches you can discover. Obviously my favourite spread features a library. where the children go to absorb the knowledge they need to answer the endless questions that grown ups face. I particularly love the children’s wondrous expressions as they become lost in books. Exquisitely produced from it’s vibrant eye-catching cover to its paint splattered endpapers, its a book that you will covet from the moment you set your eyes on it!
Internationally-acclaimed comedian, musician, actor and writer, Tim Minchin won the Perrier Award for Best Newcomer in 2005 and has created many sell-out shows. Tim wrote the music and lyrics to MATILDA THE MUSICAL which has won seven Olivier Awards including Best Musical as well as multiple Tony awards and a Grammy nomination. Tim lives in Los Angeles.
Steve Antony is an internationally published award-winning author and illustrator. His 2014 debut, THE QUEEN’S HAT won the Evening Standard Oscar’s First Book Prize and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. It was followed by THE QUEEN’S HANDBAG and THE QUEEN’S PRESENT. Other works include the acclaimed MR PANDA series. Steve lives in Swindon.
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Thank you to Olivia and Scholastic for sending me a copy of this glorious book and inviting me to take part in this blog tour.