Book Review: A Book is a Book, by Jenny Bornholdt, illustrated by Sarah Wilkins

This title will be available in bookstores from 1 November.

This book is being published to celebrate thecv_a_book_is_a_book twentieth anniversary of the Whitireia Diploma in Publishing, of which I am a graduate. There is no more fitting a celebration of this programme than a book about books, and this one comes with all the trimmings – a hardback, the dust jacket, and a cover as beautiful as the dust jacket.  It even includes a bookmark with trees on the world of it – inserted in the appropriate place, of course.

This beautiful little book acts as a philosophical treatise about books and their place in people’s worlds. This is poet Jenny Bornholdt’s first book for children, and the illustrators’ whimsical work fit Jenny’s her beautiful, light, meaningful words seamlessly.

Each page of this book is unexpected, as I read and re-read it I fall in love with new pages. My 3yo loved the verse ‘A book is a door because it opens into a house. A house is like a book because it has a door.’ I think the pieces on where you can read a book are my favourites. I have often wished somebody would come up with a waterproof book, so that I could read safely in the bath. I can’t remember how often I dipped a corner of a book into the bath by mistake as a kid, and how sad I was when it never quite fitted the bookshelf again.

I was pleased to see that illustrator Sarah Wilkins has not stuck with the traditional form of the book throughout – it is I am certain much easier to climb a tree holding an e-reader – this nod to the now is welcome to those of us that divide our reading between e-readers and paperbacks.

I am very happy that there will be an exhibition of the art from this book, which is by Sarah Wilkins, and it is certainly an exhibition that every bibliophile in Wellington (and further afield) should hustle themselves and their children along to. This book deserves to be treasured by generations to come, and I am certain the overseas market will enjoy it just as much. A perfect gift for booklovers of all ages.

Reviewed by Sarah Forster

A Book is a Book
by Jenny Bornholdt, illustrated by Sarah Wilkins
Published by Gecko Press & Whitireia Publishing
ISBN 9781877589929