Review of The Flower

The illustrations in this minimal text picture book are very much in the Tim Turner tradition - muted pastel shades of brown and grey, vacant looking expressions on wide, round faces. A distinctly dystopian eeriness fills its hauntingly mesmerising pages. 'Brigg lived in a small room in a big city.' begins the story - and so we follow the resigned drudgery of Brigg's soulless, colourless, urban life. One day he steals a book from the library where he works and learns about flowers - something he has never seen in the barren metropolis he calls home. Then, seeing the same shapes and colours on a packet of seeds in a shop window, he transforms his dreary accommodation by growing a beautiful plant. But Brigg s delight turns to anguish when the plant is sucked away by the automatic cleaning system in his apartment. All is not lost however, as the plant continues to thrive in a dust heap outside the city, and hope for a more colourful future is restored. A simple story with a strong message against apathy, reinforcing the notion that it only takes one person to make a difference.

Rowan Stanfield, Carousel. 31st May 2007

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