Karen Collum (text), Serena Geddes (illus.), Blow Me A Kiss, New Frontier Publishing, 1 March 2015, $14.99 (pbk), 32pp., ISBN 9781925059342
Karen Collum’s Blow Me A Kiss is a picture storybook that gives a pre-school child’s happy slant on a trip to the shops – what some others might consider the mundaneness of everyday parental life.
Serena Geddes’s, best known for illustrating Belinda Murrell’s Lulu Bell series, uses simple line and wash drawings to show how little Samuel cheers everybody up at the shopping mall. His unconditionally bestowed kisses on bored and impatient shoppers and workers alike are strung together by lines of red hearts. These spreads are the more satisfying with a rhythmic pace to the text and image. In other places there seems to be too much white or brown space and some awkwardly cropped peripheral images.
The story characters and events are consistently depicted from a low child’s eye view but for me there is not enough variation of detail in the wash technique. The story shows children an honest appreciation of people’s working lives, the shopkeeper has ‘droopy’ shoulders and ‘heavy’ feet and that grown-ups clearly don’t want or like to wait in queues.
reviewed by Liz Anelli