Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Treasure Box

Written by Margaret Wild
Illustrated by Freya Blackwood
Penguin, 2013
Hardcover RRP $24.99

recently came across this book when I borrowed it from our local library to read it to my daughter. Admittedly, I borrowed it more for myself as the two names on the front cover captured my attention, alongside Freya Blackwood's ethereal illustrations.

After returning the book, I was on a mission to buy it for my own treasure box of children's picture books. Sadly, this mission was to not be realised. Despite only just being published, it was out of print. A month later, Penguin announced it would do another print run. How could they not?

The Treasure Box is a book that will haunt you. 
The Treasure Box is a book that will keep you coming back. 
The Treasure Box is a book that invites you to find something different every time you open its pages.

It opens with the evocative line...

When the enemy bombed the library, everything burned.

Margaret Wild beautifully delivers the story of Peter and his father, as they contain their own story within a treasure box, while a war rages around them. The story is one of survival, courage and determination. Freya Blackwood's illustrations will touch the souls of readers, young and old. She masterfully and gracefully moves from sepia tones to brighter shades as hope is delivered. Collaged remnants of texts feature in many illustrations, subtly moving between languages, giving the reader just a hint of time and place.

What I love best about this story is the symbolism of the book; the story of Peter and his family's home...their treasure. A book that survives another day to tell its story to generations that follow.

And just like the book in the story, this one will be read, and loved.

Highly recommended for ages 5 years to adult

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