Friday, 27 December 2013

The Boy and the Toy

The Boy and the Toy by Sonya Hartnett, illustrated by Lucia Masciullo (Penguin Books)
HC RRP 24.95, PB 14.99
ISBN 9780670073627
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Sonya Hartnett has ventured into children’s writing with her first picture book, The Boy and the Toy. The writing is still the imaginative and meaningful prose that we have come to expect from this author. It’s the illustrations by painter Lucia Masciullo, the illustrator of the fantastic Our Australian Girl series that elevates Hartnett’s work to a higher plane with her perfect interpretation of the text.

This is a wonderful tale about human needs; friendship and its expectations.

The inventor is going away and the boy will be alone during his absence. He invents a machine/toy to keep him company and entertained during this time. But can a machine that can do everything be the perfect playmate/companion for a boy? Can it ever replace the unconditional love of a living, breathing being?

Emotive and wonderfully thought-provoking, with detailed full page colour illustrations, this book has an identical jacket to the cover, superb fly pages and priceless artwork on double-page spreads. It is one for collectors of fine children’s books. The paperback edition will be available in February, 2014.

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