Friday 30 August 2013

The Coat

The Coat won the Picture Book of the Year 2013 Award at the recent CBCA Awards. One year I'm going to manage to actually read the nominees for the CBCA Awards before the Awards are announced, but sadly this year won't be the year. Although I did manage to read 5 of the 6 books nominated for Picture Book of the year, and have even blogged about a couple already. Sophie Scott Goes South. A Day to Remember.

The Coat is a product of two Tasmanian talents. Author Julie Hunt and illustrator Ron Brooks. I have admired Ron Brooks for quite some time, he is an amazing talent who has been nominated for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award. The Coat is the fourth time that he has won the CBCA Picture Book of the Year. One of his early books The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek is a true Australian classic, and one I've read many times- Master Wicker absolutely loved it in his younger days. I read his last book, The Dream of the Thylacine last year. I really must get to reading his memoir, Drawn from the Heart. 

Julie Hunt is new to me, but I will be interested to read more of her work, after the intriguing The Coat. The Coat has is rather resplendent but has had a fall from grace, and now adorns a scarecrow in a strawberry field. 

It was buttoned up tight
and stuffed full of straw
and it was angry.

I love how angry he looks

'What a waste of me!' it yelled to the sun
and the sky and the crows and the paddock.
'What an unbelievable waste!'

The Coat is definitely angry, an unnamed disappointed-looking man takes the coat and they fly off to the Big Smoke. Both coat and man are transformed by an all night musical encounter in a cafe. The sepia tonings of the early pages of the book give way to colour.

I was very interested to see in the Teacher's Notes that Ron Brooks drew on Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Marc Chagall for his illustrations. And I got the Chagall reference! YAY.

Referencing Chagall's The Birthday, and
Double Portrait with a Glass of Wine

Mostly thanks to  Paris- I saw quite a bit of Chagall on the most recent trip- the ceiling at the Opera Garnier and also an exhibition at Musee de Luxembourg. I get very excited when I get the artistic references in picture books- like in Shaun Tan's The Lost Thing. But I don't really know anything about Pieter Bruegel the Elder, so had to have some help.

Picture Source
apparently draws on Breugel's Peasant Dance

Paris of course is never far from my thoughts- even when reading an Australian picture book.

Picture Source
I got a Paris feeling from this picture, although it could be anywhere European really I suppose. 

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

What a charming book! I do love picture books. They transport us, don't they?