Woop-de-doo, you say. So what?
It wasn't even Raising Steam, the latest offering from Discworld and Sir Terry Pratchett, even though yesterday was publication day; it was Goth Girl, by Chris Riddell.
(If you are a regular reader, you will know I love Chris's illustrations - indeed, he was the influence behind Granny Rainbow's pictures.)
I've got a problem with this book though - I daren't open it! It's, quite simply, too beautiful.
You wuss, Katherine! I can hear you yelling at me. Get the book open - read the flippin' story! Stop being daft!
Just let me describe this book, and see if you can understand why I can't...
The cover is midnight black, royal purple, silver (actual silver foil!) and white. It's a hardback - weighty and solid. The edges of the pages are coloured metallic royal purple. You open the cover, and the inside leaf is all silver and black skulls...
|See the light, glinting on the silver?!|
Then you get to the story itself. On the first page - even before the words appear - is a full page illustration. Thereafter, pictures are dotted through the book, the text wrapped round them like a hug. (In fact, as I flicked through, there were very few double spreads that didn't have artwork... think I only spotted one.) The story ends on the last page with a full page picture again, then there are more silver skulls - and a mini-book in it's own little holder inside the back cover; an exquisitely drawn comic-cum-poem about one of the characters.
It feels like handling not just a book - but a work of art.
I have read the first few pages - very carefully, so I didn't leave a mark on them - but have decided I must read it only when I'm alone. Mainly because I can't help laughing, or reading bits out loud and sharing the pictures with my bemused family.
Mr Riddell, sir - I take my hat off to you. This book is an object of great beauty, and you might have just become my second favourite author of all time.