Numbers and Colours

Reviewing a boardbook is not the easiest of things.

But I can tell you that in Orla Kiely’s Numbers, we start with number one and finish at ten. I don’t think that qualifies as a spoiler.

As for Colours, also by Orla, the book covers the most useful colour, such as purple. And a few others.

Orla Kiely, Colours and Numbers

Now, the reason I’m agonising a little over this review is that the books are so nice that I really wanted to review them. That doesn’t always happen. They are works of art, and have a nice solid feel to them, so ought to withstand a baby/toddler or two.

The style is 1950s. And that leads me to wonder why it is. Who is meant to buy these books? Not the child, but is it the child’s parents (or their generation), who are enthralled by the 1950s? It’s fashionable, but it’s not their own past.

Or is it the grandparent generation who are meant to succumb to theirs?

It’s a tricky one. Mother-of-witch hated 1940s dresses, whereas in my teens I adored the style. The difference being she had worn them back when, and I hadn’t. They were fresh to me.

I only grasped this as my present became my past. At first even the 1960s made me feel sick, but now I can tolerate and even like it. But I doubt I will ever break into a nostalgic frenzy for the 1970s or the 1980s. Ever. But people – young people – already like it. Because they didn’t have to live through it the first time. Also, when we go back, we can edit out the worst and that’s what those young stylists on retro television shows do. They pick the nice stuff and forget the rest. And – horror of horrors – they mix and match and get it wrong!

Anyway, Orla’s books are rather nice. I’m already so far away from boardbook use that I don’t even want to suggest what age they are best for. But if you need the story about one to ten, or something on orange to black, these are good. And this way we can raise another generation that loves (or hates) 1950s style. (I have a surprising number of Christmas decorations from that decade. Not because they are particularly Christmassy, but simply because that’s when Mother-of-witch went shopping for such items.)

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One response to “Numbers and Colours

  1. Pingback: China, or children’s books? | Bookwitch

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