– Short Review –
Once Upon A Wild Wood is a feast for the eyes – Illustrated fabulously by Chris Riddell with a beautifully crafted cover. This book is also written by Chris Riddell and follows the story of Little Green Raincape as she ventures through the forest to attend Rapunzel’s party deep in the woods. As she ventures off on this journey she stumbles across many well known characters from folklore and Disney fame – a delightful tale that is best shared with young readers and those who may be reluctant to reading. Riddell excels in bringing this tale to a younger audience and his words and images blend together in perfect harmony, each page is a delight to behold and magic to be unlocked!
– Long Review –
There is so much on offer here. If you or your children are fans of the fairy tale worlds that are being brought to screen by Disney, then this is the book for you, and for you to share with your children. The illustrations that fill this book with magical beauty are a joy to behold with Riddell adding his own interpretation on many a beloved character and in doing so making the whole thing his own.
The story although simplistic is ideal for reluctant readers and young children alike, it’s not complex and from the get go you as a reader are fully submersed into this land that he creates; with his own takes on characters – if there is a reason Chris Riddell was the children’s laureate this is a perfect example of his skills, passion and desires to make literature fun and engaging for all.
His illustrations that cover ever page are deep, rich and exquisite in their execution, making each page a work of art which in my opinion should and could be hanging in an art gallery (if art galleries allowed such a thing), there are hundreds of hidden details within these intricate multi layered landscapes which are a joy to discover when reading or looking over the book with young minds. A particular favourite set of illustration are those of the Three Bears – also the illustrations at the party are also insanely detailed and mind blowing in their construction which are a truly magical!
The story itself reminds me of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes where the stories you thought you knew are things of myth and legend, each character within this story (like Revolting Rhymes) has a slight twist to what we are conditioned to believe about them by the productions of these stories and characters into the films by Disney – but I think that is what makes this book stand out as a brilliant children’s book and a story that will be enjoyed for many years to come – who knows maybe even my children will share this wonderful tale with their children in the future…it’s that good!
There is something for everyone to discover in Once Upon A Wild Wood – so why not dig out that party invitation and head on down to the Wild Wood…just be careful who you might bump into on your way!
Once Upon A Wild Wood is published by Macmillan Children’s Books and is available here.
Illustrator Chris Riddell is a Costa prize-winning illustrator, author and former Children’s Laureate. He has worked as a political cartoonist for the Economist, the Independent and the Observer. He has illustrated an exceptional range of books and also writes and creates his own books, such as the highly-acclaimed Ottoline series and the Costa prize-winning Goth Girl series.
@chrisriddell50 | chrisriddell.co.uk
We also had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Riddell for STORGY Kids you can find the interview here.
Reviewed by Ross Jeffery
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