This book feels like a love letter to libraries and for that reason alone I love it. I hate it when I read about libraries being forced to close or run by volunteers and their budgets being more and more squeezed. This coupled with a huge literacy push from the government is such a muddling contradiction and makes me mad!
Have You Ever Ever Ever which beautifully encapsulates the magic and brilliance that can be found within the four walls of a library. It's a cryptic tease of a book which draws you in and through a journey with different well-known (nursery and fairytale) characters. It points out the general craziness of nursery rhyme characters and fairytales in a gentle mocking way to a boy sitting in a playground on his own. It's a poignant image a child playing by himself in an empty playground and makes the big reveal that books can introduce you to a whole different world of friends and scenarios much more powerful. The idea that the library (and books) are full of these wonderful characters just waiting to burst out is a lovely image and just really rather fabulous!
I love the illustrations of Emma Chichester Clark anyway and this book is beautifully done, the repetition and rhythm of the text by Colin McNaughton is lovely. My daughters love it because they know all the characters (with the exception of Punchinello!) and they can join in the story telling. They like to chant the text back at me! All in all a wonderful book which celebrates the magic and secret worlds that books can draw you into.