Rob Biddulph’s stunning debut Blown Away is funny, visually appealing and great to read aloud. For new readers, there are very few words to trip over, and for adults, the book thoroughly entertains yet flows wonderfully well; two extremely important attributes if it’s to be read over and over again, which this book undoubtedly will be.
Biddulph is the award-winning art director for the Observer Magazine, so it is no surprise that this picturebook is superbly designed. The illustrations are lively, fresh and humorous, and we instantly want to engage with the amusing cast of animal characters. There’s a great sense of movement as Penguin (the protagonist) unexpectedly embarks on a flight of fancy as his kite gets ‘blown away’.Off he blows in to the unknown and so too, do all his animal pals who try desperately hard to help him. For a non-reader there is a very strong visual narrative, but if you were to listen to the words alone, very clear images form from the text itself. ‘A windy day. A brand new kite. For penguin blue a maiden flight.’ The language is precise and perfect in it’s poetic form. Together the story and pictures form a beautiful, coherent world we want to go back to.
Blown Away is an incredible debut from Biddulph. We love it!