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Book Title: Varmints|
The author of the book: Helen Ward
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Loaded: 1843 times
Reader ratings: 5.1
Date of issue: 2007
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.55 MB
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I picked this one up in 2008 and have been meaning to read it again for a while now. It's an amazing picture book, very mature in subject matter, a book that you'll need to revisit again and again and ponder endlessly. It's also the type of book I would have absolutely loved as a small child (I love it now, too, of course) - at five, six years of age, The Dark Crystal was my favourite movie and it was a dark, menacing tale with sinister creatures, death, violence and adventure. So don't rush to think this is too dark for children. I've always had the kind of imagination that thrived off the "darker" stuff.
Varmints tells an analogy, or parable, that mirrors our history in a condensed form. There are those who love the hum of bees, the whisper of the wind, the wilderness - and then others arrive, with their tall buildings that "scratched the sky where birds once sang. Those gentle sounds faded and were gone." Every day, more newcomers arrived, the noise grew and grew until they couldn't think ... "So they stopped thinking."
But someone is nurturing a little piece of wilderness, and at the right time takes it to the right place... and that little bit of wilderness grows.
I can't recommend this book enough. It's an analogy for our own industrialisation, and the sacrifices we've made - and the wilderness has made. The prose is light and atmospheric, perfectly complimented by the illustrations that add to the voice of the story - you need both, together, for the full impact. Not every child is going to like this but for those whose imaginations crave deeper, more fantastic stories, this would be perfect for them.
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Read information about the authorHelen Ward won the first Walker Prize for Children’s Illustration and twice won the British National Art Library Award. She has also been short-listed for the 2003 Kate Greenaway Medal. She lives in Gloucestershire, England.
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