Review Blog

Aug 12 2010

Falling angels by Colin Thompson

cover image

Random House, Australia 2010. ISBN 978 1741664201.
Picture book. The circle of life from birth to death is shown in this rich and varied offering from Colin Thompson. As Grandmother nears the end of her life, the child draws closer to her, bringing her gifts form her excursions, flying to the rainforest to get an orchid, or the seas of Patagonia to collect a seashell, or to the Arctic north to bring back snow. Sally has always been able to fly, and is dismayed when her mother rejects the stories as 'silly' and tells her its time she came down to earth. But she realises that Grandmother too can fly, and so the pair take flight during her last days.
Hints of otherworldliness, of people on earth who are angels, abound in this quite surreal story. The book on the floor in the opening double page is entitled, Future Eden, as is the logo on the t-shirt of the boy at the end. Are they angels going back, or finding a new Eden, or falling to earth. Is a falling angel one who has lost the gift of wonderment or imagination? These questions loaded my mind as I read and reread this enticing book. The illustrations have the feel of a shadow box displaying a myriad of wondrous things collected form across the world. The pages of doors lure the reader's eyes to search for hidden things, and the readers are instantly rewarded.
Questioning, puzzling and sometimes satisfying, Thompson's picture books stand out, offering readers a different sphere of reality for the intrepid adventurer.
Fran Knight

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