We are fortunate living here in Auckland's Ponsonby having a number of excellent bookshops all within easy walking distance - The Women's Bookshop, Novel, Dear Reader and the Children's Bookshop.
The Children's Bookshop, along with its sister store in Christchurch, is a hugely impressive specialist bookshop with an extensive range of the best of kid's books from around the world.
They are regular advertisers in Flat White a local free monthly magazine and I was taken by their advertisement in the August issue which took the form of a book review by staffer Sara Kolijn and with their kind permission I now reproduce her review for your interest:
Fans of Neil Gaiman’s previous picture books ‘Wolves in the Walls’ and ‘The Day I swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish’ will be charmed by his new, poetical alphabet book ‘The Dangerous Alphabet’. Phrases such as “E’s for the Evil, which lures and entices…F is for fear and its many devices” are definitely not for a fearful child. But it is perfect for the less squeamish, and for parents trying to recreate the captivatingly chilling world of Tim Burton and Lemony Snicket.
Not only is it written in a wonderfully rhythmic format, it’s also an adventure story. A young Victorian boy and girl embark on an adventure through the pirate and monster infested world beneath the city. Don’t trust any of the underground creatures, there is all sorts of evil and trickery going on – even the alphabet itself isn’t to be trusted, and young children will have fun trying to find the “dangerous flaw” which is mentioned at the beginning of the book. Gris Grimly’s quirky ink and watercolour, sepia toned illustrations are so alive that the pictures practically jump off the page. Each page is also packed with new things to discover every time you re-read – which you definitely will!
Neil Gaiman's name caught my eye because a couple of months back he mentioned my blog on his own blog and in one day that resulted in over 9000 hits from US visitors alone to my site. This is more than I normally get in a week so you can imagine I was pretty impressed. He is a huge figure in the U.S. Check out his website here.