Posts Tagged ‘Imaginative’

“Life On Mars Meets Alice In Wonderland”

The Picture House

Cover Art By Vanessa Morris

The Picture House is a children’s fantasy story about a young imaginative boy trapped in a coma and the struggle of his three friends to save him from both his condition and the embodiment of his nightmares. Over the course of the story the three brave friends explore the fantastical regions of a child’s imagination, meeting lost souls, angry gardeners, enslaved trees and a wily black cat.

Although it is a story aimed at children The Picture House certainly does not talk down to its readers. The vocabulary, although not too baffling, is beautifully descriptive and vivid. Younger readers may struggle with some of the text but only in a way that encourages further learning. The themes in the book do not pull punches either. There is a very real sense of loss for many characters in the story which is dealt with in a sincere and compassionate way. These themes are not morose or morbid but rather encourage hope and understanding.

The characters are sympathetic and fun to read about. They are not action heroes but rather ordinary people who go through their ordeal because they care about their friend. You could maybe question how the children adapt so readily to such a bedazzling environment. But hey, kids are tough and it would hardly be an exciting story if they spent half the book going to pieces.

I would recommend a story like this to an imaginative child, boy or girl, who may enjoy watching Tim Burton Films, Doctor Who or Harry Potter. It is not wholly educational but is fun to read and steers away from patronising young people. I may not normally be a fan of this sort of book (and I’m probably old enough to know better) but I enjoyed it for it’s ability to amuse and entertain my imagination.

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