Thursday, 29 December 2016

Class One Trip to the Sun


Okay, I have to tell you about the best Christmas present I got this year. It arrived just yesterday, all the way from Beijing:


Class One Trip to the Sun is a beautiful, properly bound book, wonderfully illustrated by a new and talented author / illustrator on the scene, called Unique Liu. His mum posted it to me: 


Julia Jarman and I met Unique when we were doing our tour of Beijing international schools in September. Here, in the front of his book are a couple of photos taken when we signed some of our books for him, during our time at his school:



Class One Trip to the Sun was of course inspired by the stories Class Two at the Zoo and Class Three all at Sea. Class One's school visit into space probably happened a little while after their trip to the farm...



Unique's mum sent a copy to Julia too, of course. I haven't spoken to her yet, but I'm sure she too will be very impressed. Unique also gave one as a Christmas present to the librarian at his school who organised our visit. The school librarian sent me an email, saying that it had made her day to see such a burst of creativity inspired by our time with them and that Unique's book was the highlight of the entire school year! 


I love so many things about this book, not least Unique's cleverly designed illustrations, which really jump off the page.



The story is properly paced - he has obviously really studied Julia's technique, and some of the creative detail occasionally made me laugh out loud. For instance, Class One's space rocket is fitted out with a library, of course, complete with a robot librarian (called Tome) who, just as an aside, seems to be a big Michael Jackson fan:


It's no easy thing to create 18 illustrated spreads in a given setting with a set cast and give them all an individual flavour, to ensure they are sufficiently different to one another to create the variety you need across the book. Unique has pulled it off extremely well.



Each image is bold and uncluttered, while containing all the detail you need to tell the story and providing fun elements which make you smile. He's even thought about interesting ways to incorporate the text on certain spreads:



A HUGE well done to Unique and a big THANK YOU to his mum, for posting a copy all the way to Sheffield for me. I bet Julia is dead jealous that she didn't think up this plot idea!



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

And written in English to Boot!!!

Thank you to all who inspire the imagination of our young.

I need orange said...

Thinking of the Magic Schoolbus.... :-)

What a super book. Clearly a very special kid (and mom, too!). May he retain his artistic energy through all he does in life!