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Read a wonderful review of Alive Again by Margaret Pemberton for Armadillo Magazine

Alive Again


This simple but very effective book follows a young boy’s thoughts as he contemplates the cycle of nature and whether words die.  The thoughts are about simple things such as ‘blossom’, ‘wheat’ and ‘journey’, but they start the reader thinking about the meaning of words and about how personal experience can affect our understanding.

This is a charming and thought-provoking book which can be read a several different levels.  The illustrations are a mix of drawing and collage, using paper and fabric to provide colour and texture.  The images are childlike and simple in their structure yet they have a sophisticated control of shading and shape that draws the reader into the pictures.  It is interesting to note that differing images have been used on the front of the hardback and paperback editions.  The hardback uses a version of a picture from the book while the paperback has a totally new image that is not replicated in the story itself.  It is a more complex picture, but using the same style of shading and hiding in the bottom right corner is a ‘Tiny Owl’, the symbol of the publisher.  This is a wonderful story for telling and discussion in class and would make a great starting point for illustrating students’ own stories.

 Margaret Pemberton

An illustration from Alive Again
  • Read this review by Book Trust: A reassuring tale about the philosophical nature of language and being
  • Read this blog: Picture books; A way for children to better understand stressful situations

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