Hogart the Hedgehog Turns Nink
text by Blair Reeve, pictures by Chris Stapp (Anapest Press, $25)
Reviewed by Vaughan Rapatahana
I rather like this slight, self-published book; slight because at only 41 multi-coloured pages – some with no text on them – it’s very easy to read at one sitting, especially as much of it is in anapestic rhyming and alliterative tri-lines, rather like a looooong nursery rhyme. Given Blair Reeve’s strong performance poet background, this is a book to be read, indeed chanted, OUT LOUD. I can well see him onstage doing exactly that.
It is a clever wee book too, because, while it is ostensibly a children’s picture book for dads and mums to read to their kids and tots at bedtime, in reality it has several other layers. It’s not so slight after all, eh.
Let’s look at the multi-levels contained between these bright hard covers:
1. Hogart the hedgehog, can of course, be read entirely as a kid’s book, replete with Edward Lear type nonsense and multiple Dr Seuss rhyming patterns – generally aaa/bbb – gone madder. Yet I sensed more, the more I scanned in and between the lines.