Halibut Jackson

Authored by David Lucas
Illustrated by David Lucas
Published by Andersen Press

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Even though Halibut Jackson was first published in 2003, it retains all its original freshness and novelty. I love it. It is essentially a story about a very timid character, Halibut Jackson, who is excruciatingly shy. He tries his best to fade into the background.

Each opening in this gorgeous book by David Lucas is a visual delight. There is so much for readers to gaze at. Lucas achieves his amazing illustrations using a pen for crisp outlines and deep watercolour tones. His images are whimsical, witty and very original, and they engage the reader.

Apart from the satisfaction of ‘finding’ Halibut in each setting, there are lots of additional visual delights. For instance, look at the Matisse-like double-page spread of his attempt to blend in ‘indoors’. A framed photograph shows him covering his face. There is an intriguing globe and a very cheeky mouse in the library that makes one ponder and smile. In the penultimate spread, the lady from the supermarket makes a second appearance. Hats, ribbons, bows, tassels and vivid patterns compete with fantastically costumed characters in each spread. Could Halibut ever have ‘stood out’ in these settings? Children will enjoy Lucas’ humour and many visual art references.