Saturday, August 4, 2018

Our Big Blue Sofa by Tim Hopgood

One of our favourite things is bouncing on our big blue sofa ...
We're practicing for the Sofa Bouncing World Championships

What a discovery! This is a book with an extra and wonderful dimension - it is tactile. You can actually feel the funky fabric as it says on the cover. There are baby board books with this feature but I have never seen it on a picture book like this one.  Our Big Blue Sofa just has to be the perfect partner for Down the Back of the Chair by Margaret Mahy. I cannot imagine reading one without the other.

Our Big Blue Sofa opens with a list of found items such as a pizza crust, a pink paperclip, a pea, a gold ball, the letter Q from a game of Scrabble, a dead fly, $100 of Monopoly money and a tie - probably dad's.  A the back of the book there is a further list of more things found recently such as a pink sock, mum's car keys (again), dad's reading glasses (again) and dad's case for his reading glasses (again).

The kids love to bounce on the sofa and use it for imaginative play. It becomes a blue submarine, a blue hospital bed, a big blue hot air balloon, a big blue taxicab and a big blue elephant but all this jumping and wild play leads to disaster. What will happen to the sofa? You can see some of the pages here.

Our Big Blue Sofa, Tim's first book, was the 2007 winner of the Cambridgeshire Read it Again Award.  If you are looking for a copy of this book try to find one with the funky fabric. I am not sure if this feature is included with the regular paperback edition. I did enjoy the discovery that blue is Tim's favourite colour and Hopgood also seems such a fun name for a book about bouncing on a sofa.

Here are my thoughts about two other books by Tim Hopgood - Big and Little Answer. Of course you could also compare the art in Our Big Blue Sofa with the superb collage work of Lauren Child.

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