Saturday, 28 September 2013

Book Review: Oliver and the Sea Wigs

by Philip Reeve& Illustrated by Sarah McIntyrepublished by O.U.P

This is one of those books that get me in a bit of a dither. It is so epic-ly beauoooootiful that I feel there should be something I can DO about it ....Yell at passers-by, put up posters .... write a blog post. 

It is an exceedingly jolly little story, and I've enjoyed travelling through it, meeting a shortsighted mermaid, a moving island named Cliff, a grumpy albatross and some very cheeky monkeys, but ... THE PICTURES!!! 

I melt. 

The delight is that until I picked up this book I was not aware of the illustrator's existence. But she may just have soared to the top of my favourites list. Now that I look her up, I see she has been very prolific, creating wonders like 'You Can't Eat a Princess.' All her books are brilliant but imagine 'brilliant' and then add, like, a thousand boxes of maltesers. This book has hit the mark. The palette, the tones, the page layouts, the perspective, the light and shade, the cute shapes and strong lines. 

My eyes are having the equivalent of a big bubble bath and a cup of tea, that's how happy they are that my fingers have brought them this treat. 

Philip Reeve has written such excellence as the magnifincent Predator Cities series which kicks off with Mortal Engines, and the gentler Larklight series, (do check out his awesome site) but this is a sweet departure for him; a fun, unthreatening story for emerging readers, plastered with pictures on most pages. 

This is one of those books which is a joy in every little cell of its being; printed and bound into such an edible little package, with a lustred hard cover, bright, thick, crisp white pages, clear, smart text and THE PICTURES!!!! 

There is a map. Top marks. 

And even the dedication page is illustrated. Smiles. 

I like this book. Go and look at a copy or miss out on one of the best bookish treats of the year so far. Thank you. 

Want to see more? Explore Sarah's website and Blog.


  1. Thanks so much, Susie! It's a real treat to get so much attention to illustration detail in a review. Really appreciate it! :)

  2. I whole heartedly agree with you Susie. I bought this book on the grounds that I love Phillip Reeves' writing and then found the delight that is Sarah McIntyre's drawings. She also got me with the wonderful wig and the sheer brilliance that went into making it.