Think pink

I have, and the jury is still out. Fiona Dunbar has a new book called Pink Chameleon, and it’s very funny and a good read.

The plot is of the “new boarding school and horrible uncle” variety, with some futuristic fashion on the side. Two sisters, mysteriously disappeared parents, chameleon pet, aforementioned uncle, an unusual great grandmother, and a fashion show make for an interesting mix.

I’m about forty years too old for Pink Chameleon, really, but I enjoy Fiona’s sense of humour. This is a perfect book for someone the right age. There’s a sequel on the way, too, so hopefully the ghastly uncle will eventually get properly sorted.

Pink chameleon

What I’m not sure about is the whole idea of books as products; in this instance a very pink product. I hasten to add that Fiona has written a book, not a product. But I wonder if the publishers are thinking product, rather than literature.

I’d like to know if they sell more books with pink or lilac covers (glitter optional) because they are pink or lilac, or if the pink and lilac puts more prospective buyers off? Not all girls love pink and lilac. Lots of parents are allergic to pink and lilac, after years of nothing but.

The cover of Pink Chameleon is artistically attractive. But I still suspect it does the story inside the covers a disservice. Though a quick, unscientific poll with some 8-9 year-olds the other day left me with the feeling that pink sells. And let’s face it; I saw some almost irresistible boots with pink flowers on, earlier this week.

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14 responses to “Think pink

  1. Pink not only does a disservice to literature, but to women. Unless you want to turn the whole thing upside down, of course, as a means of protest. Maybe men should start insisting on glittery pink covers, too …

  2. Pink clearly does sell. Look at Pink Floyd.

  3. Even The Rattlebag (Heaney/Hughes) is pink at the moment. And Sherlock Holmes. I’ve checked.

    Lee, I agree with you, but why as a non-pink lover of purple do I still fancy some pink things like mad? Not books, but other things.

  4. Sherlock Holmes is pink????!!! My god, Watson would have something to say about that (along the lines of ‘finally, out of the closet’…?)

    there’s pink and there’s pink. That blancmange-y little-girl’s wellies pink that’s everywhere does the colour a disservice, I think

  5. P.S. My neighbours claim that my house is p-i-n-k.

    (It’s NOT, it’s terracotta, though the attempt to match the colour in the sitting room has, ahem, rather peachy overtones. Which is why someone other than myself is working on the design of my new website.)

  6. Eek … I’ve just realised the the Peter Carey book I recently blogged about also has a PINK cover:

    http://lowebrow.blogspot.com/2008/04/hallucinogenic-illumination.html

  7. I’ve just spent some time browsing the publishers catalogues and there is an appalling level of pinkness out there. The only thing I hate more are all the cupcake images. Often pink-iced cupcakes.

  8. I, too, used to have a pink house. When the decorator heard my choice of colour, he laughed. But it looked really good, and houses in Brighton really benefit from some attractive pastel colours. Then we sold the house, and now it’s white again. Some people have no taste.

  9. You refer discreetly to the chameleon; I am happy to add that this creature ends up contributing a shamelessly Marvel Comics-style element to the plot (think Spiderman and that bite) So it’s interesting to speculate as to whether or not the pinkness attracts readers who like this sort of thing.

  10. I was trying not to give the plot away, you know.

  11. Yes of course, I appreciate that. Just added it because I’ve realised it’s actually fine for readers to know about this in advance – especially as the device carries over into books 2 & 3! Has been mentioned elsewhere anyway, and I now do so as well in school visits 🙂

  12. My nine year old daughter has turned incontrovertibly anti-pink. She had to overcome this to read the Pink Chameleon – which she loved for its clever re-imagining of a high tech fashion future. There should be a sticker warning – “Smart Inside”

  13. “Smart Inside”

    Now that’s a great idea. Can we get those made and sneak into bookstores to label the books we like?

  14. That’s one of the best suggestions I’ve seen in a long time. Thanks.

    I’ll have a brooch made for me to wear, as well…

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