Sometimes a book arrives in the world and you know that it is a very special thing. It is a book you want to give everyone for Christmas and for birthdays and on days when you just feeling like giving someone a book.
A Book is a Book by Jenny Bornholdt (one of my favourite New Zealand poets) with illustrations by Sarah Wilkins is one such precious thing (Whitireia Publishing and Gecko Press, 2013). It is a little, hardcover book with a paper-dust jacket and exquisite drawings. It feels like it is from another age, perhaps the 1960s, so it takes me right back to when I was a young girl and I loved the magic of a new book (I still do!).
As the title tells us, this book is all about books — about reading books. Each page only has one or two sentences, but each page shimmers with wisdom, humour and truthfulness (I kept thinking that is so exactly right as I read!). Such a mix means that it is a very happy book! To sit down with a book that is so HAPPY it makes you feel HAPPY which is a very good thing.
To be honest, I couldn’t bear to finish this book for ages (in fact I left a little bit for today); like a box of chocolates I wanted to go on and on. Every page is a favourite page, but here is one I love:
‘If it’s Sunday and it’s raining,
a book is the perfect thing.
Even a small book, because
boredom can be very big.’
You will find places to read books, what to do if you don’t have a book, what’s inside books, about a -glow–in-the-dark book, games you can play with books …
… but as soon as I start to describe what the book describes, I know I have to stop because all Jenny’s word magic is gone.
This, my number-one-book-I-have-read-in-a-very-long-time book, you just have to read for yourself, and then get another copy to give your best friend. Because it is the perfect book to read when you want to feel good about life.
Thank you Whitireia Publishing and Gecko Press for the gorgeous production, thank you Jenny for the terrific words and thank you Sarah for the delicious, little paintings that are just perfect.
To celebrate my love of this book that has filled me with such book joy, I am going to host a three week READING FESTIVAL on Poetry Box starting on Monday with all kinds of prizes and surprises.