Author/Illustrator: Anthony Browne
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Description: When Joseph’s mother comes home, says his father, things are going to change. And almost at once they do – in the weirdest of ways . . .
My Review: I’m not sure what to say about this very surreal and strange book. Joseph Kaye is waiting at home while his dad has gone to pick up his mum. He’s been told things will change but what did his father mean by that? ‘Changes’ is a large book, a bit bigger than A4 in size and filled with thick glossy pages of illustrations and easy to read text.
As Joseph ponders on the question of what will change, his imagination starts coming up with all sorts of things. First he sees the kettle changing its shape. Before he knows it the kettle’s become a cat! Is this what his father meant when he said things were going to change? The whole story follows this similar feel with Joseph left alone to imagine all sorts of things happening.
I really like the illustrations. I’ve always enjoyed Dali’s paintings and Browne’s illustrations take on a similar feel. There are lots of different things happening to the objects around Joseph and it’s interesting just to look at the pictures and spot all the surreal changes going on. Even some very small objects such as a framed photo on top of the television have hidden fun extras that you may not notice the first time you read this book.
Although the illustrations are good, I’m not sure the story will really be understood by kids and it felt a little strange. I’m going to put a spoiler here by telling you that the ending of the book has a twist: That the ‘change’ is that Joseph has a new baby sister which his parents bring home for him to met. This is a good twist but I’m not sure kids will really understand this ending if they are reading it alone.
The illustrations are great in this book and I think many kids will really enjoy looking at the pictures and spotting all the changes that appear, but whether the message in the story will be understood, and whether it’s a good book for discussing a new sibling to children I’m not so sure.
-Thanks to Walker books for a free copy (as part of The Anthony Browne Collection).
What do you think of this book? Do you like surreal books? What about books covering this subject? Let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear from you 🙂 You can also find me in these places: