Sunday, 20 March 2016

Children's Book Review: Gulliver by Jonathan Swift retold by Mary Webb

Many of the classic stories we were familiar with growing up have largely disappeared from the bookshelves of modern day children, which is why we were delighted when a new version of Gulliver by Jonathan Swift was released by The O'Brien Press late last year. Retold by Mary Webb and illustrated by Lauren O'Neill we were excited to see how this literary classic had been retold for a new generation. 

The book blurb reads:
Gulliver has always wanted to go on adventures. But when he does, he gets lost at sea. Waking up on a beach, Gulliver finds he is a prisoner in a land of tiny people. And then the sea takes him to a land of terrifying giants, who have their own special plans for him … Will Gulliver escape and find his way back home?

Gulliver is divided into two parts, each telling the tale of a different sailing adventure. In the first Gulliver finds himself in Lilliput, a land where he is so much bigger than the inhabitants that they think him a giant! In the second he ventures to an actual land of giants, where he finds himself as small as a mouse in contrast to the massive residents of the land. 

A sturdy hardback, with a lovely red ribbon to use as a bookmark, this book has the feel of a good old fashioned adventure, but is wonderfully retold to capture new audiences. The illustrations are full of character yet avoid feeling too modern to compliment the classic story, no easy feat for illustrator Lauren O'Neill to achieve. 

This is truly a very thoughtful update of the original work (first published in 1726) which manages to maintain the essence the source material. We're truly thrilled that Gulliver's Travels will once again earn a place on children's bookshelves. 

And of course we have to mention that Gulliver is one of nine books to have been shortlisted for the CBI Book of the Year Awards 2016. Huge congratulations to the team and best of luck at the awards ceremony in May. To find out more visit the Children's Books Ireland website.

Gulliver is suitable for confident young solo readers aged 7+ with a sense of adventure. The book is available in bookstores across Ireland now for €14.99. Published by The O'Brien Press, you can find out more about the book on their website here.
Thank you to the O'Brien Press for sending us this book to review!

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